I’m a NLP practitioner, get me out of here!

I have to confess that I am an avid watcher of ‘I’m a celebrity, get me out of here.’ I have tired of most reality TV and in fact most television, but I do enjoy this programne. It’s partly the witty chat of Ant and Dec but it’s also my general fascination with people and the way they think and behave.
As usual the ‘celebrities’ are mostly relatively unknown to all but a few of us, but certainly many of a certain generation will remember Edwina Currie the politician. Not so well known is her erstwhile arch rival Kendra Wilkinson. The two could not be more different. Edwina is a 68 year-old woman, highly educated and respected by many, with high moral standards and a razor-sharp mind. Kendra is 29, an ex-resident of the Playboy Mansion, with a high-school education and a modelling and television career.
In the show the two crossed swords over Kendra’s apparent ‘only think of yourself’ philosophy. I suspect that she won few new admirers after the incident, especially when combined with her abject failure to challenge herself in the interests of getting food for her camp-mates. Edwina, on the other hand has shown herself to be made of strong stuff when it comes to her one trial, calmly ignoring all manner of insects, snakes and eels – she even commented how refreshing the water was!
On the other hand in one of her later trials Kendra surprised everyone by getting all ten stars and it’s worth pointing out that she also got ten in her first trial.
So which one is the better person? Wise, respectable Edwina, or flighty, frivolous, self-absorbed Kendra?
The other day someone was telling me about a ‘silent’ disco they went to. As I understand it everybody at the disco has a set of headphones playing a programme of music. There are several different programmes depending which headphones you wear so at the disco everybody is dancing, but at different times and in different ways! It sounds bizarre but he said it was a lot of fun.
It’s a great way to think about other people. Everybody has their own track playing and they dance in their own ways. Sometimes it can look very like they are listening to the same thing as we are, and we join in with them for a bit, but suddenly they stop dancing and we are halfway through our song. It feels a little odd, but maybe that oddness is just part of the fun.
So Kendra is dancing to her own rhythm and Edwina too and both can be ok. I think this is what NLP people mean when they say that everybody is doing the best they can with the resources they have available. How can we judge what they are doing when all we see is the outward behaviour. Which of the two celebrities is the games-woman? Which is the manipulator? We can make assumptions by the things they say, their expressions and their actions, and some of these assumptions may be reasonable and even highly likely, but we can’t know for sure. When I watch them I get curious about what the song is that they are dancing to.
The more I understand people, the more easy it is to like them. As a therapist I am not there to make judgements but to help people realise that they can choose the song they dance to and they can recognise the songs in others around them. They can increase their options make better choices – about the way they respond, how they behave and even what they feel.
Hey does that mean I’m just a glorified disc jockey?

Robert Sanders is a therapist and life coach, supporting people in their present and helping them create their future.

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