The best thing about NLP is the way in which one can covertly weave it to an everyday focus and conversation and spin it into something more resourceful. You can talk to people and be NLPing them, without them even knowing it is happening.
I was out with a friend of mine in Hertfordshire, North London who had recently separated from her boyfriend. We knew that on this particular evening out, there was the possibility of bumping in to the ex-boyfriend so she was in a bit of a wound-up state. As we sat with our bottle of wine in the pub, a song came on in the background as my friend began to tune into it aware of the familiarity of it, she started to cry. Through the blubs and wales she explained that it had been their song – her and the ex-boyfriend’s and that she still loved him so much. It’s a good job I’m an NLP therapist and not a counsellor because sympathy just isn’t my thing. I reached over and touched her on the shoulder and said “It’s all going to be fine and I am sure he was an idiot anyway.”
This was closely followed by a snot-filled rage in which she exclaimed how she couldn’t believe how he had treated her, how could he do this etc and how much she hated him.
When this stage kicked in I quickly withdrew my comforting hand. Those of you who know NLP would have identified that I had accidentally anchored her melancholy state to her shoulder. You might think this was a bad thing. The truth is it would have been if I had not utilised it resourcefully later on. Really, I should skip the part where I tell you that this all happened by accident, and make out this entire event happened completely on purpose as a result of my marvellous skill set, but that wouldn’t be totally true!
Later on, we went to a Hertfordshire night club and guess who showed up? At this moment in time, there were several reactions she could have gone for and I thought she might go for blubbering wreck but to my surprise and his she launched into straight into snot-filled rage.
As she catapulted herself towards him, I spotted an expression in his face. In NLP we like to be very clear about the difference between a sensory observation and a hallucination. A hallucination is when you think you know what you have seen in the other person. The sensory based observation of the ex-boyfriend was this: His eyes widened. His jaw lowered. His skin tone became more pale. His forehead began to sweat. He became short of breath. The hallucination of what I saw, I will call ‘man having fear of ex-girlfriend’.
At this moment I grabbed her shoulder, yes, the same one as earlier and said something like: “I know that this isn’t the real feeling you are feeling towards him, isn’t it?” The snot-filled rage fizzled and vanished and the melancholy of earlier returned, though without the crying.
They had a conversation about staying friends and it was all okay. When she popped to the loo a little later he came over and spoke to me. He said: “I have no idea what strange therapy you did to her but you did something. She was ready to kill me and you diffused her somehow. How did you do that?”
At that point I realised what I had done. I realised I really could help others using NLP.
By Gemma Bailey