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A Fun Way To Silence Your Inner Bullies

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A Fun Way To Silence Your Inner Bullies

Have you ever wondered if there’s a way to turn off some of those critical voices inside your mind? Sometimes they just go on and on, don’t they? If you have some challenges with negative self-talk, or if you get stuck on remembering hurtful things people have said to you in the past, this quick and fun NLP technique just might work wonders for you.

The aim of this exercise is to help you rapidly achieve more peace of mind, and to gain more mastery over your emotional state, all of which will improve your overall level of happiness and sense of emotional well-being.

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NLP is short for Neuro-Linguistic Programming. It was developed over the past few decades by Richard Bandler, John Grinder, and then others. It’s used in a variety of professional fields such as sports coaching, education, and trauma recovery. Ideally, NLP works like a skeleton key for reprogramming your brain and nervous system.

The programming part of NLP works very much like programming computer software. Though not a perfect metaphor, by thinking of your brain as a computer, you can install a new program, uninstall an obsolete program, or modify an existing program.

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Programs are designed to help us do specific things like be a thrifty shopper. Another example could be a gaming program that helps kids wind down after school. The goal of working with programs in an NLP context is to find the ones that aren’t getting us what we want, and then modify those programs in some way. If a program is causing more grief than it’s worth, it can sometimes be uninstalled. If the program seems to be hard-wired in and resistant to being altogether removed, another option is to try and overwrite the disc with a new and improved program. But that can involve some more complex processes than we are delving into today so we’ll save them for another time.

Today we’ll play with modifying an existing program. One that’s causing us some discomfort. One that starts up at the worst times and replays over and over. We might even scramble it and throw it in the recycling bin. Here are the steps. It only takes five minutes and a playful imagination.

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NLP Technique for Scrambling Negative Self-Talk

  1. If you were to imagine your favorite actor or actress speaking to you in a really seductive “bedroom voice,” what would that be like?
  2. As you enjoy this experience, allow yourself to become aware of where the voice is located. Notice all the qualities of the voice including: volume, tone, pitch, and pacing.
  3. Put that aside for a moment.
  4. Now consider how it feels and sounds when you are thinking negatively about yourself and saying critical things to yourself. Listen to your self-criticism…
  5. As you replay those harsh critical comments, what happens if you now change the tonality into the “sexy bedroom voice?”
  6. As you replay those harsh critical comments, what happens if you now change the tonality into a silly cartoon character like Donald Duck or Scooby Doo?
  7. Replay some of your typical negative self-talk with this new cartoon tonality and see how your feelings lighten up!
  8. To get even better results, keep playing with the volume tone, pitch, and pacing. Try speeding it up and raising the pitch really high like Alvin the Chipmunk. After playing with that, try slowing it down to the point that it is deep and warbly, like its battery is dying. If you have a sense of space, try imagining the voice moving far, far away into the distance and maybe even drifting out of the atmosphere into space…

Keep playing with the sound quality until you feel a positive shift inside. Take a listen inside and see if that negative commentary has now been scrambled and neutralized. If a lot of emotional energy is released, you might perspire or feel the need to sit down for a moment. If so, that’s perfectly natural and happens to many people. Pause for just a moment now and see how you feel.

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To find out if this worked well for you, try to recall the upsetting sound as you used to hear it. Do you still hear it in the same old way? More importantly, check to find out whether or not you still feel upset when you replay it. The negative emotional charge should be gone.

If you find that this technique does in fact work wonders for you, keep it in your tool box for future use. For example, suppose your boss or family member says something critical to you. If you have any difficulty letting it go, you can use this technique to scramble the audio, turn down the volume, and get back to enjoying some peace of mind.

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Featured photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/klearchos/ via flic.kr

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Last Updated on November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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