Recently someone said to me that I didn’t seem to be very happy.  At first I thought it was an insult. I was taken back by the comment because I know my life and I know how often each day I say what an amazing life I have and how thankful I am for so many different things – such as being able to work with what I believe is my true passion, walking in nature and having access to it at my feet, or the many amazing relationships I have with people I meet on this journey.

Needless to say, I was quite shocked and troubled by the statement so I literally took a step back to see what this person was seeing. What has happened to lead them to that conclusion?  I thought of the times we’ve been together and one common denominator is always present. Someone has pushed up against one of my boundaries and this person has seen what happens when this occurs.

For example, recently I stayed at a luxury resort in the USA and had some issues with the service. Each time a service failure came up, I spoke to the management about what happened and what my expectations were. I was paying a lot of money and to me, these lapses were just indicators of a larger problem. Having worked in luxury hotels before and being an inspector for some of the world’s best hotel chains, I kind of knew what I was talking about.

The person with me, saw my actions and decided that I was unhappy.  Which really confused me at first because I was extremely happy! I was attending a weekend meditation course and completely in my zone of learning, experiencing new things and being 100% me. All of the problems with the hotel were little tiny blips on my reality. For me there was nothing more to it.

For my companion though, there was a different meaning. The meaning to me expressing my dissatisfaction with the hotel’s service meant that I was unhappy.  When I thought about why this was, the realization finally came to me!

If this person were to have been in my shoes doing what I was doing, THEY would have been unhappy.  If they put themselves in my shoes, they would have hated it!

It was just a difference of meaning. For me the incident didn’t have much meaning but for this other person it did and it meant unhappiness.

Looking further back, I could see how that every time I stood firm on my beliefs or my boundaries, this other person would experience the same situation as being unpleasant.  Where as I thrive in it, she hates it. At first I thought this person was trying to insult me by telling me I wasn’t happy. Now I see that they were just trying to tell me how their map of the world looks.

And this is why I love NLP.  Without the skills of NLP,  I wouldn’t be able to step back (dissociate),  review the past (timeline), discover the difference (contrast frame), and discover a new meaning (reframe).

Do you have these skills to help you with the little troubles in your life?

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