The Myth of NLP

Like most “alternative” practices, NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) often gets a bad rep, especially in the pick-up world where it’s been peddled primarily as a way to mind-control women into the bedroom. There are many pick-up artists and dating coaches who have completely bastardized NLP as a sleazy, underhanded tool of manipulating people against their will (and no, I’m not naming names…). Well, it’s important to remember that there are no shady practices—only shady people. As an NLP trainer, I want to share with you just how powerful NLP really can be (when used for good) at getting you the results you want in life; no sleazy manipulation of others is required.

NLP wasn’t developed for pick-up; it was developed as a means of potent psychological healing in all areas of life. And contrary to what even some “well-informed” journalists have said in articles about pick-up, Neuro-Linguistic Programming wasn’t created by Ross Jeffries, though he clearly has studied it. NLP was developed by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the 1970’s, and has since been expanded on by others—most of whom have nothing to do with the pick-up community.

Although NLP is still considered alternative, it’s very powerful in created deep and lasting change at the unconscious level. For example, phobias that more traditional forms of therapy healed in 14 years could be resolved with NLP in 45 minutes or even less. I’ve personally experienced this, actually—a phobia I’d had for my entire life (27 years) has been gone for the last 2 years after a friend worked with me for about an hour using NLP techniques. But it’s not just for phobias—I’ve used it (and my clients have used it) for a whole range of things, including adopting healthier eating habits, letting go of past anger and resentment, getting over exes, being more confident and relaxed in social settings and when having to speak in front of a room (I used to be a disaster on stage!), and learning how to communicate more effectively with difficult family members. Oh, and did I mention this is also the best way to gain that real confidence that women find so irresistible?

So listen up, because the real value of NLP has nothing to do with getting other people to do what you want and everything to do with destroying your own insecurities, approach anxiety, and learning how to gain a truly confident core. In other words—the true spirit and power of using NLP is developing yourself to the point where you would never need to study “techniques” that manipulate women into bed because you’ll naturally be the guy they already want to sleep with. Nice!

So, what exactly is NLP? My favorite definition is “the study of getting results.” As in, what steps do you need to take to get a certain result (for example: making $1,000,000)? This includes letting go of fears, insecurities, and limiting beliefs and adopting a mindset that supports that result. This also includes taking action.

Your Programming (Thoughts, Feelings, Actions/Behavior) à Your Results in Life.

This is a really simplified explanation, but the basic concept here is that in order to change your life, you must first change your programming. So although the practice of NLP is comprised of various techniques, NLP is really an attitude more than anything else: the attitude that you have the power to create whatever you want in life.

There are sources out there that claim that with NLP you can mind-control others to do your bidding, which is what has given NLP a reputation for being manipulative. However, those who actually know NLP know that you can’t control another person; no matter how many super-cool-sneaky-badass-stealth “mind tricks” you learn, you can never make another person do something against their will, morality, ethics, or personality. So, if you’ve read any pick-up material that suggests that you can “NLP” a woman into bed, this in inaccurate.

Yes, you can make suggestions to the unconscious mind, but this won’t automatically result in someone doing your bidding. For example, if I say “cold beer” then you can’t help but think of a cold beer, right? But that doesn’t mean you’ll turn into some kind of zombie that automatically goes to the fridge to crack one open (must…have…cold…beer…). If you don’t drink beer, you still won’t, whether the suggestion is “embedded” or not.

If a woman doesn’t find you attractive and doesn’t want to sleep with you, then layering “hidden suggestions” into your language like “below me” (blow me) or “new direction” (nude erection) might make her unconsciously think of a nude erection but it won’t do much else for you. On the other hand, if a woman does want you, you don’t need to bother with designer language patterns because, well, she already wants you.

So let’s break down an NLP pattern that an aspiring PUA shared with me (translation: tried on me—unsuccessfully). He asked if I had ever felt the warm tingly sensation of attraction with someone while gesturing with his hands. It was subtle but the hand gestures pointed to his crotch. Here’s what happened:

  1. I felt the warm, tingly sensation of attraction.
  2. I couldn’t help but glance at his dick.
  3. I decided I didn’t want him and moved on with my life.

If a “pickup NLP pattern” does happen to work, it’s because she wanted you anyway for reasons other than the techniques.

Actually, it’s a lot like a hypnosis stage show. Nobody on stage at a hypnosis show is being mind-controlled. Stage hypnotists are skilled at picking people out of the crowd who are already dying to go on stage and act silly; they just need an excuse. “I was hypnotized” is a great excuse.

When you think about it, there’s a similar thing going on with the use of NLP and hypnotic patterns picking up girls in night clubs. If a girl is out at a night club in stilettos and a dress the size of a hand towel, she probably already wants some kind of sexual interaction (at least flirtation if not same-night sex). The NLP didn’t do anything to her except bring out what was already there.

And remember, NLP is not a pick-up technique. Most of the people who use NLP are doing things that have nothing to do with pick up, like effective public speaking, pain relief, and conflict resolution (to name a few).

So let’s talk about some ways to use NLP in a non-shady, effective way to get better results with women.

  1. Effective Communication. Yes, this is where some people try to use NLP to manipulate, because it does give you tools that allow you to get along better with others, such as building rapport.  However, rapport and consciously choosing your phrases isn’t about mind control; it’s about getting across what you intended to communicate. That doesn’t just include content (words) but also non-verbal communication like body language and voice tone. Think about it this way: if you speak both English and Chinese, and you meet someone who only speaks Chinese, you would speak to them in Chinese. This isn’t manipulative; it’s effective communication. Well, even within the same language there are subtle differences, and being aware of them makes you a more effective communicator.
  2. Get Real Confidence. It’s no secret that confidence is attractive to women. It’s easy to tell someone to get confidence, but it’s not like you can go pick some up at the store with the milk and eggs. Well, the more powerful techniques in NLP will allow you to actually let go of limiting beliefs and have a confident mindset.

NLP is a tool, just like a hammer. You can use a hammer to build a house or tear a house down. So don’t let the shady pick-up side of NLP discourage you from using it to help you improve yourself and get the results you want—with women and in life.

Comments

  1. Good article, Liz. Nice breakdown of the fundamentals of NLP. I’ve been in and around various NLP programs – Rex Steven Sykes; also studied a couple of Bandler and Grinder’s books. But never have been able to make it stick. Glad to have your fresh perspective.

    Now, for some reason, I’m compelled to go get a cold beer….

  2. Thank you Liz, for taking the time to write that.

  3. You are so right Liz – If we don’t like who we are, the results we are getting or the way we feel, then we are still carrying the bagage from the dissapointments of our past. The negetive experiences in our lives can begin to define WHO we ARE. In effect, we have been PROGRAMED to believe a lie, and carry the mind set of: “Oh well, I guess this is just the way I am… might as well get used to it.” It makes sense that if we don’t like our life the way it is, we must CHANGE the way we THINK about ourselves. Change must be intentional. We have to want it because it takes work.

  4. Since I posted this article, several of you have emailed and asked where to get certified in NLP and hypnosis. The company I recommend most is The Empowerment Partnership. Check them out at http://www.nlp.com.

  5. George K. says:

    Dear Liz Leia, do you – being an expert on dating and attraction – actually have a boyfriend or husband?

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