Figuring Out Neuro-linguistic Programming Presuppositions
Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) presuppositions are no more than generalizations about the world. One of the first presuppositions is that the map is not the territory. This statement was published in ‘Science and Sanity’ in 1933 by Korzybski, a Polish count and mathematician. Korzybski was referring to the fact that you experience the world through your senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste) — the territory. You then take this external phenomenon and make an internal representation of it within your brain — the map.
This internal map you create of the external world, shaped by your perceptions, is never an exact replica. In other words, what is outside can never be the same as what is inside your brain.
People respond according to their map of the world
Your senses bombard you with 2,000,000 bits of information per second but your conscious mind can only deal with between five and nine pieces of information at any given moment, so there is an awful lot of information that is filtered out. This filtration process is influenced by your values and beliefs, memories, decisions, experiences, and your cultural and social background to allow in only what your filters are tuned in to receive.
You respond according to the map of the world you hold in your head. The map is based on what you believe about your identity and on your values and beliefs as well as your attitudes, memories, and cultural background.
Sometimes the map of the world someone operates from may not make sense to you. However a little understanding and tolerance could help enrich your life.
Unfamiliar territory: Travelling down another person’s map
Each of us has a very individual map of our world and to make communication easy it is a really useful exercise to at least attempt to understand the internal reality or map of the person with whom you are communicating.
When you find yourself face-to-face with a person you think is just a pain, follow these steps to change how you think about that person. (If all is right with your world right now, you can still practice this technique. Just think of someone whose behaviour really bugs you.
1. Count all the blessings in your life.
2. With examples of your own good rattling around in your brain, put on your most generous hat.
3. Ask yourself what could possibly be going on in this other person’s world that would warrant his or her behaviour.
Once you have begun to master this process, you may find not only are you happier with your lot, but you can accept people and their idiosyncrasies with ease.