A break-up or a divorce is a fact of nearly everyone’s life at some point, including NLP trainers and life coaches. Some break-ups or divorces are tougher than others. A student asked me the question: “Is there an NLP technique for a tough break-up?” As far as I am aware, there isn’t. This is not surprising, NLP Practitioner only offers generic foundational tools, and for most companies NLP Master Practitioner tools are nearly a copy of NLP Practitioner. Some companies even put NLP Practitioners and NLP Master Practitioners in the same room. Therefore, NLP tools remain pretty generic in the world of NLP. Shy of a few companies, and the people who trained with them.
In Global NLP Training, our master practitioner doesn’t have an NLP technique for a tough break-up either. But the ingredients taught in our NLP Master Practitioner are new, and go deeper than the foundational NLP Practitioner. We spend a little over a day learning how to design our own patterns, and with that designing, a break-up pattern or a divorce pattern becomes fairly easy. Even specific to the presenting problem of that client.
For the sake of this blog, I will put down a generic NLP technique to deal with a tough break-up.
NLP Tough Break-Up & Divorce Technique
Step 1: What are the Emotional States you Need?
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What resources or emotional states that you specifically need are useful to overcome just about anything? Pick 3 or 4 if you need to.
- During what time in your life specifically before you met this person did you feel this resource or this emotion. Is there a specific memory where you experienced these emotions the most?
Pick an area in your home where you could re-arrange something. For example: put a chair in a different place, hang a picture on the wall, purchase something you love. Do not skip this step if you and your former partner spent a lot of time before the break-up in this home. Make sure there is something you can sit on, or that there is enough space to stand.
Step 2: Anchor the State Spatially
Now the location that you changed around is going to be your “space of empowered transition.” Feel free to give it another name. Stand close to this location, as what I will be asking you to do coming up is to step into this location or sit down.
- Close your eyes, and imagine the memory of a resource or positive emotional state number 1. You are looking through your own eyes. What did you see, hear, and feel? Make it as real as possible, so you get this emotion back again.
- Make it brighter, closer, louder. Augment the feeling inside your body any way you can. Intensify it as much as you can.
- When you feel the feeling very intensely, step into your “space of empowered transition.” Let the good feeling integrate with this location.
- Step out, open your eyes.
- Repeat step 1-4 for the other resources and emotional states.
Step 3: Shifting Perceptions
- Float your mind out of your body and imagine you are in a movie theater.
- Imagine you are about to see a movie of you and your partner, as seen from this vantage point.
- If you were a reasonably happy person the years before you met your partner, your movie begins at the beginning of that time.
- If you were not so happy, your movie begins at the beginning of your relationship.
- It is essential to realize that you are only going to observe this movie. As a scientist, there is no emotion.
- Watch the movie in color during the happy moments, and switch to black and white when it gets bad. Watch it straight through to this moment in the present time (in black and white). Turn it into a still image.
- When you are at the end of the movie, jump your mind, your awareness, into that you in the still image and rewind fast, in only a second, to the day you met this person (regardless of where your movie started).
Reflect on what specifically you learned.
Step 4: Empathy (Optional)
For people seeking forgiveness or understanding:
It is essential to keep in mind that though you may feel your ex-partner is the villain, they likely will not see him/herself in that way. People legitimize lousy behavior and choices against you all the time. Even in the event that this person may have regret, they still feel a pain impulse and they are again not the villain, but a victim.
Floating your mind into the shoes of the person you had a break-up with can be helpful. Imagine being inside this person’s shoes throughout the relationship. You would see what they would see, hear what they would hear, and feel what they would feel. You’d have their life, their map of the world.
Reflect on what specifically you learned.
Step 5: Recoding the Past into the Future
What you are feeling is temporary. And the present time is only one moment in your life.
- Close your eyes.
- Step into your spatial anchor, the “space of empowered transition.”
- In this space, inside this powerful feeling. Associate into yourself at the beginning of this relationship with this feeling. Make sure you are looking through your own eyes.
- Play a movie looking through your own eyes, with the powerful resources and emotions of the key events in your relationship while maintaining the positive feeling and the resources travelling through when things got ugly.
- Keep playing the movie 3 months into the future, 6 months, 1 year, 5 years, all the way to the end of your life.
What specifically did you learn?
Step 6: Transition
I recommend burning something that is theirs, or symbolic of the relationship.
That’s it! I hope that’s useful. And by the way, there are many ways to create an NLP technique for a tough break-up, this is only one of them.