I am often asked if NLP is manipulative, can it be used to make people do things against their will. The short answer is NO.
Every experience, every learning, either at a conscious or at an unconscious (we are unaware) level, will lay down a memory pathway, whether we remember it or not, it is there. It will be used in the future as a reference, to know what is occurring to us at that time, to make an understanding of the situation.
If we are shown what a car is, our brain will store that information, the next time we are presented with a similar image, our brain will access the previous learning and will make a connection and know the new image is a car.
We are influenced by all our experiences.
Therefore, our whole life will manipulate our very existence, as our experiences, our knowledge or learnings increase.
I came across a client who suddenly became depressed, sad, without the usual energy they usually displayed.
Why the sudden change?
What influenced them to make the sudden change?
There are many factors that could be at play, but on investigation it was found that the client had been in a high state of energy for some time. But, problems had occurred.
The clients partner, a highly qualified professional, was well respected in their trade, and competitive.
The company they worked for provide essential services to the community, and as such, received income from a higher authority for the amount of work they did, and the number of jobs or customers they had on their books.
The systems put in place by the higher authority were not secure enough to stop some abuse, for a company to add more fictitious jobs to their books and exaggerate the amount of work they did.
Of course, this abuse will be found by the higher authority, and audits and checks would be made on the integrity of all companies work.
My client had worked hard, given true value for money, kept to the rules and was really well liked and respected by the company’s customers. But the company’s management gave false information, well they did not inform the higher authority when their customers no longer were with them, they had left. So their customer list was over inflated, too high.
The management had also failed to keep adequate records of the work carried out by my client’s partner, and a history of work done, although a computer database was available at the time.
My client’s partner was asked to help sort out the problem, the problem that was no fault of theirs.
They set about the task, sorting the problem that had been created by others. My client’s partner was always they to do this and the management knew this. They knew my client’s partner would do this extra work without extra pay, and without complaint.
But there was a deadline, a date when the work the records had to be correct.
My client’s partner worked through the lunch hour, stayed late, became tired, but still that deadline approached and more work needed to be done. So the management brought in extra help, someone not as qualified to do the work, who was slow and did not want to work, and this person experienced the strain, the pressure felt by my client’s partner.
The extra help complained to the management, and started blaming the situation, their stress and inadequacies on anyone but themselves, especially my client’s partner, who had no blame, and done more than expected. The management did not counter the extra helps complaints and comments.
This created a very bad feeling in my client’s partner, so much so that they took their feelings back home with them, and pored them out to my client who tried to console support and advice.
The stress and strain was being experienced by my client, they had too. To understand something you have to process the information.
Do not think of a pink elephant. You have to see a picture in your mind of a pink elephant to understand what was being said.
Thus my client was pulled into the stress and strain, and they were brought down the same depths.
Have you ever been with people who are happy, laughing, what happens to you?
Have you been with people who were sad, depressed. What happens to you?
My client coped well in supporting their partner, they felt the stain but did not show it. But one incident, a misunderstanding maybe of language, perhaps the wrong information was given, and the strength of my client was lost.
We must be aware of how we influence others by our actions, our looks, our words, as everything we do will manipulate the way others see and understand the world around them.
With NLP we can reframe beliefs, understandings, views of the world, to help people see things as they are and not as others see them.
If this is manipulation, to bring happiness and wellbeing, then good.