What is NLP

Indirect Hypnosis Mind GameHere I’ll explain how our minds process information. This can be used as an Introduction to Neurolinguistic Programming. If you understand everything here you will understand the more advanced technique’s used in Indirect Hypnosis.

Representational Systems

I’ve written about Representational Systems in the past, but here I’ll cover them in detail.

Humans store memories as a series of images, sounds and feelings. As a person talks they will choose a representational system and give you a clue to whether they are remembering a story through images, sounds and feelings. These are the words to look for:

Visual People Talk about

  • Color
  • Two or Three Dimensional
  • Location
  • Distance
  • Size
  • Brightness
  • Contrast

Auditory People Talk about

  • Volume (Loud or Soft)
  • Sounds
  • Tone
  • Tempo
  • Distance from sound
  • Clarity (clear or muffled)
  • Continuity

Feeling / Kinesthetic People Talk about

  • Pressure
  • Textures
  • Intensity
  • Weight
  • Temperature
  • Shape
  • Emotions (I Felt)

The word’s we use are based off of what representational system stands out when explaining a past experience.

The Map is Not the Territory

It is often said that the map is not the territory. What does that mean? Everytime we experience anything in life we leave out a large portion of the information. We ignore and generalize because there is just too much information to take in. The information that we do store makes up our own personal version of what happened during any point in the past.

Our version is always going to be flawed, because of all the information we deleted. That’s why the phrase the map is not the territory is used.

How Brain’s Process Information

So, we know that we store memories as a series of visuals, sounds and feelings. But, how do we turn those representations of past event’s into language. By utilizing are personal Meta-Model. A persons Meta-Model describes how a person:

  • Reasons
  • Gathers Information
  • Decides on Preferences
  • Deals with Stress
  • Emotes
  • Reacts to Situations
  • Makes Decisions

I wrote a huge series of articles on Meta-Programming. Here is a link to Indirect Hypnosis: NLP Meta-Programs. Here I layout and describe exactly how my brain works and what question’s to ask to find out how others brains process information.

At this point you understand that a person is:

  • Given a reason to think
  • They remember a past experience based off of Representational Systems
  • Create an artificial version their map of that past experience
  • Decypher that memory through the use of their Meta-Model

Breaking Down Information

Our internal representation of past events needs to be broken down further. We do this by:

  • Deleting Information
  • Distorting Information
  • Generalizing Information

Deleting Information

There is a never ending supply of information that we could describe when talking about a past event. If it is not important to describe the color of someone’s hat in a story, we just leave it out or delete that information. Again the map is not the territory!

There are 3 main ways that we can commonly see, hard to discover, deletion’s in a persons use of language:

  • Use of Superlatives and Comparatives: Better, Best, More Important, Most Important
  • Use of -ly Adverb’s: Obviously, Unfortunately, Painfully
  • Stating that Something Must Occur

If you want to better understand what a person is saying, you must question these deletion’s. If someone says, “Jim is the best”, ask in comparison to who? If someone says something is obvious, ask why it is obvious to them. And, if someone says they must do something, ask or what will happen?

You can equally ask these questions of yourself, or others, to better understand the mental processing behind language.

Distorting Information

We also distort information, either by accident or on purpose. A distortion is referred to as a Nominalization in NLP, but I’ll stick with Distortion. This is high level analysis, so if you don’t get it, just move on.

We distort experiences so that we can freeze the movie into a moment in time. To focus on the specifics if you will. Without the ability to distort, we wouldn’t be able to focus on any specific moments. Distortion’s are normally found through the use of words that represent:

  • A process
  • A movement
  • An idea
  • An understanding
  • A concept
  • An action

High level analysis of Distortion’s look deeply for words that:

  • Are not process words: Word’s that give the exact meaning of a word or phrase
  • Are not verbs
  • Describe an event as finished, irreversible, or out of control, when it is not
  • Fits the above criteria, and can’t be placed in a wheelbarrow
  • Makes sense in the phrase, “an ongoing ____”, (Probably a Distortion)

Here are example’s used in sentences:

  • Your perceptions are wrong.
  • You cause my anger.
  • I have a tendency to do wrong.

Generalizing Information

We also Generalize in an effort to simplify our experiences and to help us make quick decisions in the future. Without our ability to generalize, we would find it extremely hard to make decisions in fact.

If generalizations are taken to the extreme you will also find the worst in humanity:

  • Racism
  • Ignorance
  • Inability to change
  • Inability to relate to others
  • Stubberness
  • Lack of options

By just focusing on generalizations you can better understand and help people at the same time. When a person has a major mode swing, they are normally caught in a generalization and find that they no longer have any options:

  • Everyone hates me
  • I’ll never have any friends
  • My life will never get better

Some times it is hard to spot generalizations. Look specifically for words that fail to address a specific person or thing. Here I’m getting a little complicated again. Here are some examples:

  • They: They who?
  • Dog’s: Which dog’s?
  • People: Which people specifically?

What do I do with this Information?

What I have been describing in the article is high level communication. If you realize that communication is just made up from:

  • Representational System’s
  • Meta-Models
  • Deletion’s
  • Distortion’s
  • Generalization’s

You now have the tool’s to communicate at a higher level and help others to better communicate and make the right decision’s.

When you are trying to help a person:

  • Focus on their Distortions first
  • Then the Generalizations
  • Finally, the numerous Deletion’s

Or, you could simply take them through a Meta-Model test like I provide here Meta-Model Test. Neurolinguistic Programming is being used everyday to help people work better together and to cure numerous mental issues. I’m glad to be able to pass this information on to you.

Common Confusing NLP Jargon Explained

Here are some definitions for terms I use that may be difficult to understand.


The development of a close and harmonious relationship in which two or more people understand each other and can communicate well.


Mirroring is defined as when you copy someone else’s behavior: movement, body position, hand gestures, tone of language, etc. A clear example of mirroring is seen when a couple naturally completes each other’s sentences. They are so in tune they actually seem to read the others thoughts.

What most people do not realize is that mirroring is a two way street. You can actually mirror a person slightly and get them to feel closer to you naturally. When mirroring people it is very important that it stays outside of their perception. Be very subtle by copying breathing, the speed in which they are talking, and a few of the phrases they are using. Don’t make it obvious that you are mirroring them.

Representational Systems

Humans store memories as a series of images, sounds and feelings. As a person talks they will choose a representational system and give you a clue to whether they are remembering a story through images, sounds and feelings.

Refer to the information above, to see the word’s people use depending on which representational system they are using.


By visualizing, I mean imagining or pretending. Here is the process one goes through when visualizing:

  • Recall an experience
  • Allow your mind to drift where ever that memory takes you
  • Close your eye’s
  • Remember and see what you saw in that experience
  • Remember what that experience felt like
  • Remember the sounds you hear
  • Make the picture big, so that it surrounds you


The way you experience a past event is personal to you and may change with different memory’s. The preference’s toward remembering past event’s are referred to as Submodalities. Submodalities, to put it another way, are the qualities that make up our visualizations. Examples of Submodalities include:

  • Black & White or Color
  • Surrounded by a frame or panoramic
  • A movie or a picture
  • Far away or up close
  • In stereo or monotone
  • Full of textures or not

Dissociated View Point

A memory in which you see yourself is known as a Dissociated Memory. One in which you see the memory through your eye’s is known as an Associated Memory.


By Framing, I’m referring to a Frame of Reference or context. How you frame a situation will define its:

  • Meaning
  • Emotion
  • Value
  • Expected Behavior

Here is an example: Think about how differently the birth of a child effects you if:

  • The child is yours
  • The child is a relative
  • The child belongs to a friend of yours
  • The child belongs to a woman you don’t know in Indonesia

Each will effect you completely differently based off of the context of the birth or your Frame of Reference.


Anchoring is when you associate a certain memory, feeling or behavior to some form of stimulus. Like Pavlov associated a bell ringing to a dog’s salivating. It’s believed that 90% of all psychological problem’s can be associated with negative anchor’s.