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The MythoSelf Experience
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The Collected Papers of Joseph Riggio

GenerativeNLP Newsletter Issue 8

Real life dilemmas. Solved.


Dilemma 8: "I dig myself into an even deeper hole when I realize I've made a mistake about something, but won't admit it to the other person"

Swallowing your pride. Being big enough to own up. What ever term you use, the act of dropping your defences and being vulnerable to another person is the subject of this months real life dilemma.

Here's the scenario...You realize that you're up to your neck again in your own BS, and rather than loose face, you shovel more of the brown stuff into the hole you've created. If this happens to you, it's most likely because you don't have concious control of your defence mechanism. At the slightest sign of threat, your armour comes up, your linguistic knives are sharpened, and you're ready for battle. We could hypothosize why this happens...perhaps because of existing in a previously hostile environment where it really was necessary for your survival (e.g. in a particular job, or amongst a certain social group), but figuring out "why" doesn't really matter. Much more useful (we think so at least!) is to begin to orient yourself toward the future that you want to be having.

We'll begin by highlighting the many positive things that begin to unfold between people when each is able to say to the other "you know what, I've made a mistake" or "you know what, I actually don't know". We'll then look at the qualities that are present in a person who is able to reveal themself in this way, and finish up with a few techniques to help you develop those qualities.


The alternative reality that's just a decision away

Give yourself permission to trust that you are in an environment where it's perfectly safe to say "I've made a mistake", "I don't know" or "I'm not sure". When you do, the following things begin to take shape:

* Your relationships are strengthened

* The trust grows between you

* More laughter is enjoyed together

* You feel liberated

* Your health benefits

* There will be fewer arguments and upsets

These are just some of the positive things that begin to unfold when you *don't* view getting it wrong, or not knowing, as a weakness that could lead to your downfall.

The qualities of a person who is this way

  • Knowing that you live in a benevolent universe

  • A benevolent universe is a kind, compassionate and generous one. A person who believes the universe to be this way would not view 'not knowing' or 'getting something wrong' as a threat to their survival.

  • Knowing what experience you want to be creating for the other person, for yourself, and in your relationship.

  • This means having a clear intention about what you want your relationship(s) to be like. What experience do you want the other person to be having? What experience would you like to be having? What experience do you want to share?

  • High level of self-esteem.

  • Loving yourself and feeling loved are aspects of self-esteem, and they are present in a person who is OK about not knowing something or getting something wrong.

  • Being open to suggestions and thoughts from anyone.

  • Being open in this way means that your defenses won't come up automatically causing you to go into 'fight' mode. This doesn't mean to say that you take on board as gospel anything that anyone says, but it will allow you to at least listen with an open mind.

Top tips on how to develop some of these qualities

  1. For one whole day, switch your radar on to notice for all the good things around you and all the acts of kindness that come your way (remember that even the 'little things' like being sent a beaming smile count :-)))

  2. Make a decision right now about the experience that you want to be creating for the other person. How do you want them to feel as a result of being with you?

  3. The next time you feel your self-esteem levels are low, go and tell someone special to you that you're feeling this way. This openess will be conveyed with love and compassion, which will trigger a return in kind, which will fuel your self-esteem.

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