NLP Practitioner – Improving Relationships with NLP
These days it seems that everybody is searching for ways to improve and fix relationships. Hundreds of self-help books and websites offer to save your marriage, to give relationship advice or to improve your dating life. If you have ever felt frustrated with a girlfriend, boyfriend or even colleague, you might have found yourself wondering “What is he/she thinking?” It might surprise you to know that NLP Practitioner training can improve your relationships.
The first step to making a relationship better is to step into their world. Everybody thinks differently, and unless you can start to understand the thinking patterns of others, you will find that your relationship issues remain unsolved. There is a common saying that we talk about at our NLP Practitioner training– “the map is not the territory”. This means that we all navigate the world differently – to one person, a problem might mean the end of the world; to the other, it might be a challenge.
The path to effective communication involves matching people’s preferred way of thinking. Listen to the expressions they use – do they use a lot of ‘visual’ phrases like “I see what you’re saying”, ‘auditory’ ones such as “that sounds good” or ‘kinesthetic’ ones like “something feels wrong”? Effective listening means paying attention to these small things. When you match your own language to the other person’s preferred language, they feel a stronger rapport with you.
Another way to make a relationship stronger is to mirror or match the other person’s body language. As an NLP Practitioner this can make potential clients feel more at ease with you; it can also improve long relationships. When your body language is in sync, the person feels closer to you, even if they can’t explain why. Of course, make it subtle – copying somebody’s movements like a robot will probably make them feel uncomfortable.
Good communication is key to healthy relationships. Remember that you are not a mind reader. When you assume what another person is thinking, you risk damaging the relationship. Telling yourself things like “She is angry” or “I can tell that she doesn’t like me” will create problems, as you are likely to act as if this is true. As a NLP Practitioner you will learn you that require hard evidence to support your ideas. Ask yourself “How exactly do I know that this is true?”
The reverse is true – other people cannot read your mind. You can avoid arguments by being honest, yet calm, about what you are feeling. Saying or thinking things like “You should know how I feel” or “I can’t believe he didn’t consider my feelings” will bring unnecessary tension into your relationships.
Taking Another Perspective
The saying that before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes, is appropriate here. One of the key beliefs behind NLP is being able to understand the world from another person’s point of view. Try to imagine the situation from your friend, boyfriend or family member’s point of view. Even if you don’t agree with it, try to understand it.
The ability to take this second position is vital to good relationships. You can also adopt a third position – imagine the situation from an outside perspective, so that you are “watching” yourself and the other person interact. You might learn something about your own behaviour. Learn more about taking another perspective here.
Finally, one of the core beliefs of NLP is that everybody acts with good intentions. When your husband or wife got angry and jealous, perhaps it was just because they didn’t want to lose you. When your boss was too strict with you, he/she might just have been trying to motivate you. Think of what good intentions people might have when they act towards you, and don’t assume that they are trying to attack or hurt you.