NLP presuppositions

This post is part three of the Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Presuppositions series of posts. Part one covered six empowering attitudes, principles and concepts to help improve our confidence, to change our perceptions and the way we interact with other people. Part two covered a further six.

Let’s get onto four more right here.

13. Resistance indicates lack of rapport

This presupposition is a great one to internalise, in order to improve our communication with others.

In life, whether personally or professionally, we need to interact with others. So often, when we want to get things done, we will need the help and support of others.

For example you might need support for a project at work from a colleague. However, when you discuss your idea, you don’t get the response you wanted.

Or perhaps you meet a person at a social gathering and you’re trying to make conversation with this individual. However, this person seems a little aloof and doesn’t want to open up much to you.

In such cases, it’s useful to remind yourself whether you have connected enough with this particular person. Have you created enough mutual trust with him or her? If not, you can consider creating some further rapport.

An excellent way to do this is to meet the person at his or her current view of the world, show that you understand their view, share similarities between the two of you and if appropriate, offer help or suggestions.

After doing this, you can go back to attempting to get support for your initiative or connecting with a person at a party, or whatever it was you initially wanted to do.

14. Behind every behaviour is a positive intention

This one for me had to be experienced to be believed. Once it has been experienced and you do so for yourself, its truth becomes so apparent.

What this presupposition means is that whatever behaviour we do and which others make, there is something positive we or another person is trying to do.

Let’s take interacting with women as an example. If you’re a guy and finding it difficult to approach a girl you like, you could be doing so to protect yourself.

For instance, the reason why you avoid doing so is because you want to protect yourself from possible rejection.

Why is it important to know this?

Well when we want to create changes in our lives for the better, by understanding that the behaviour we are doing (however undesirable) has a positive intention, we can learn to appreciate the value of the behaviour, preserve its good qualities and still do what we want in a life from a position of maturity.

15. Every subjective experience is made up of two parts. These are content and structure

Another way of looking at this principle is our life experiences. Let’s say you had an argument with a family member about something. The argument has already happened.

However, you now continue to remember that particular scenario. You remember exactly what you said to the family member and how he or she felt. You recollect exactly what he or she said to you and how it made you feel.

You even end up feeling like you did during the argument, now!

This is an example of content. However, this content from an NLP perspective also has a structure. This structure is made up of thoughts and beliefs you have around that argument.

Bringing this structure to the fore is powerful because one can actually change these structures to change how they feel for the better, about experiences that have already happened and experiences which may happen in the future.

16. People have the resources they need

I’m a firm believer that when we help people overcome a problem, all we are doing is encouraging that person to look within themselves for their own answers.

In the coaching world it can be called as facilitating a person to help him or her find their own solutions. Once a person takes responsibility for getting themselves into bad states, then equally that person has opened the doors, to taking responsibility for finding answers that will help them be resourceful and move through the world skilfully.

It’s amazing what lies dormant inside each of us. However, once our inner strength becomes activated and we channel it appropriately we can become unstoppable!

Photo Credit: nicolasnova

Editor’s Note: This article was first published on in January 2013.