I was assisting a week-long NLP training last week and reminded of our simple and profound discovery about language.
Back in 1975, the first book on NLP was published exploring the magic of assisting people to notice how their language distorts their model of the world and causes challenges. Insane patients could quickly start to become healthy just by fixing their language! This discovery profoundly changed the world of therapy and it’s now common place in any great personal development work.
There are about a dozen different problems with language that get our minds stuck. Three of them are the real source of the deepest trouble:
- Cause-effect – “You make me mad.” (One thing causes another, but not possible in reality.)
- Mind Reading – “I know what you’re going to say.” (Claiming that one knows what another’s thoughts or feelings are.)
- Nominalization – “The communication [from ‘communicate’] in this company is poor." (Turning a verb into an abstract noun. You can’t point to a “communication” so it’s tough to change.)
Notice yourself when you talk or think. Do you speak like this at all? Share this with your friends and help each other banish this kind of language. It’s like magic how people wake up when you GENTLY guide them to stop using this language.
Parents, your children’s life-long happiness depends on you learning to correct your own language! They learn English from you and also these mistakes of English which distort reality. Wonder why your kid has trouble? Did you teach them odd language?
Watch politicians and political media and you’ll see this language more than we’ve seen in years. For example, saying that one person could “destroy America” is cause-effect and nominalization. America is a vast & complex global organism with checks and balances that will exist over hundreds of years. It’s not a tiny thing one can point to and “destroying” it next to impossible. Using language like this unfortunately works because it drives a certain amount of distortion leading to insanity. This is why we see more people becoming angry and irrational. Insane people are typically taught to be insane.
You can click the post comment link and share some examples we can all learn from.