The Rules and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) taught me something extremely powerful both in my relationship (at the time with my boyfriend) who is now my husband and in all my other relationships.
They both taught me not to try to ‘mind read’ (I can still find myself doing this and I am much more aware now of when I am and to stop, observe and be present instead).
The Rules teaches this throughout the book in the actions it requires us to take. For example – the book says to listen to what a man is saying and that men mean what they say. It also says to look at his actions, not what he says, does he promise and not deliver. Just because he is well-meaning and maybe he had the intent to do what he said – for whatever reason he doesn’t ‘do’ what he says he’ll do. Sometimes or perhaps a lot of the time (and I have been guilty of this) us ladies tie ourselves up in knots over-analysing something – maybe this is more to do with us not wanting to accept the truth?…
NLP is a vast subject – communication being a key factor. In NLP we look at how each person experiences life. In NLP I discovered that each person has their own ‘map of the universe’ and how they experience life. No two people experience life in the same way – not even a specific moment. This is because we ‘filter’ our experiences through our senses. The way we filter these experiences through our senses also varies from person to person.
One of the (very powerful) ways we communicate is through what we do with our bodies. In psychology you often hear of ‘body language’ – but in NLP this is markedly different and we refer to this area of communication as ‘physiology’. The reason it is different is because in body language it is taught that ‘X = Y’, for example if someone has their arms crossed this is usually seen as ‘defensive body language’. In NLP we call this ‘mind reading’ because you are saying he / she must be feeling defensive because they have their arms crossed, but in NLP we would just note they had their arms crossed. We would also note what they are saying, the tone of their voice, where their eyes are looking and their breathing (and other queues) – all of this allowing us to ‘calibrate’ all of these elements of their communication. What this gives us is a big picture, an NLP Practitioner then asks questions to allow us to calibrate all of these elements to enable us to understand and access more of how they are feeling and to understand their paradigm better. So for example, the person may have not been defensive at all but felt cold or perhaps unwell or any other number of feelings.
As you can tell the subject of NLP is quite complex and personally I find it fascinating. My point in explaining the above is to explain that even as an NLP Master Practitioner I can have a much clearer picture of where someone is and what they may be thinking or feeling – but even knowing and studying NLP I could not know exactly what they are thinking or exactly how they are feeling because I have my own paradigm.
For me, learning this was a ‘light bulb’ moment! Suddenly I realised I had been mind reading all the time – I had been guessing, speculating and presuming I knew what others thought and how they felt. This was also extremely freeing – suddenly I realised that I was often creating things that didn’t exist and this was having generally negative effects on my relationships because I was ‘projecting’ what I thought they wanted or what I thought they thought on to them.
‘Projection’ is another important topic of NLP and linked to this subject which I might discuss in another blog in the future (please let me know if this interests you or not in the comments section below or on my FB page).
In conclusion, the reason I am sharing this with you is to heed Ellen and Sherrie’s advice – when they tell you not to obsess or make excuses for him and instead be a ‘thinking Rules Girl’ by paying attention to and recording what he says and what he does and notice when you are trying to ‘mind read’. Instead focus on doing The Rules and how you feel when you are with this person. These are also important things to notice and note down – often we ignore our gut feeling – for example perhaps when we know something is not right.
If you’re following ‘The Rules’ why not try observing and recording what he says and does and how you feel, what you say and do with him, if you mind read, how you feel and what you say to yourself about the relationship. Ask yourself – am I mind reading?
I hope you have a great week!