I’d like to thank someone who was once upon a time almost my brother, for prompting me (without realizing) to write this article. The fact that he was almost my brother once upon a time, is a story in itself by we’ll leave that for another day.

I received an email today asking me how and when I chose which hats to wear. How do I know that it is time to put on my “NLP4Kids hat”? or if it is a “People Building hat day” or a “one to one therapy hat day.”

I had a long answer to this relatively short question, but it did get me thinking about this whole idea of different hats for different roles at different times.

You see when I completed (some years ago now) my NLP practitioner training, we did an exercise called a parts integration. You do a parts integration when there is a parts problem. A parts problem occurs when the psyche/personality fragments in someway and causes a source of in-congruence in a person. Such as someone wants something, but behaves in a way that is the opposite to achieving it. Or they want this and that but this and that are completely different to each other.

I remember being told, that we start out whole, and that wholeness of the spirit is a good thing to achieve. I also recall thinking that was totally impossible for me to achieve.

You see whilst these things are not exactly parts issues (because there isn’t conflict), I am fully aware that I behave quite differently with my mother, to how I behave with my best friend. I am different still with clients and with the lady from the post office. There are several Gemma’s available, and depending on our relationship, depends on which one you will get.

This isn’t wholeness! This is lots of hats that I wear for many different people.

Perhaps you are the same and are wondering is this a problem?

In short, I say no. As long as you can comfortably take one hat off and put on the next and enjoy some quality from each of them.

Do you know which hat you like most, which one is the one you are most comfortable in? Which one really suits you and which is the real you? If you do, then taking off and popping on hats can be a useful skill. It means you are flexible and adaptable to your situations and the company you keep. It’s a great rapport builder.

The challenges arise if you do not know which hat you are most comfortable in, or worst still, it seems that none of them are right for you anymore, but you keep forcing them on all the same, instead of remodeling and finding a better suited one.

And whilst the one same old hat is “just who you are, take it or leave it” you might be completely, genuinely experiencing wholeness or perhaps it’s just another way of saying “I am what I am and the world has to fit in with me, and not me with it” which might slightly limit your ability to connected with a wider range of people, and experience a greater wealth of experiences.

I’d love to know your thought on hats!

By Gemma Bailey