NLP Techniques, Dealing with Difficult People

Rintu BasuTherapy6 Comments

Last week I was involved in a discussion on FaceBook about dealing with someone with a particular set of beliefs and I was asked what my approach would have been to deal with them.

Dealing with Skeptics using NLP

I finished up by deconstructing my approach into a process and thought I would share it with you.

Jamie Panter – A Rising Star

Jamie is currently studying hypnosis with The Quest Institute and I suspect he will soon become a very successful and influential hypnotherapist. He posted a question on his wall concerning the attitude of a friend of his that provoked a discussion about dealing with skeptical people. Here is the discussion. Whilst I have Jamie’s permission to print this I did not ask any of the other contributors to the discussion, therefore I have left all of their comments out and the discussion is slightly edited to make sense.

Jamie Panter Very much looking forward to the weekend. Quick question: I was chatting to a friend who said that Therapy for self improvement is for losers. I was quite shocked by this. My opinion has always been, if there is a quick and easy way to have significant improvements in your life, surely it’s worth doing isn’t it? Answers on a postcard.

Rintu Basu The perceptions of self help and therapy are not great. Obviously this is a generalisation and more specifically my generalisation. I wonder if your friend has picked up on this perception and this has manifested in his judgement?

My perspective tends to be if you can show me an intervention that gives me a greater result than the effort taken to make the intervention then I would be a “loser” not to take it.

Generalisations are useful (imagine having to work out what a door is and what it is for every time before walking through it) but they also really help you not to see the usefulness of specific things. This is also a generalisation so doesn’t always work.

Making Personal and Professional Development Difficult

At this point there were some interesting comments where it was clear that some people did not believe lasting and deep change is possible quickly and easily. Obviously this is a generalisation and imagine what happens to people that think like this.

If they ever want to make personal changes they will make them difficult for themselves regardless becasue of their beliefs. There are even worse scenarios. I once had the misfortune to meet a guitar teacher who believed that to develop musically you had to put in lots of blood, sweat and tears.

I met him because one of his students was a business coaching client of mine. At the end of a coaching session my client made reference to the guitar that was in the office. As part of that half hour discussion I taught my client a system which meant he knew every scale and mode in every key, there are 50 or 60 of them. But it is a simple system that once you have the hang of it you can learn and play them all in minutes. My client went away almost in tears because he had been trying to learn all these scales individually and had been taking months over it.

Two days later I was phoned by my client’s guitar teacher and virtually threatened. There were some choice phrases including, who do I think I am as an untrained musician giving out “dangerous” advice to guitarists. The basis of his argument was learning the hard way means you appreciate it more. And that if you can learn the system in minutes then it can’t work.

This is despite me offering to demonstrate it it, allow him to test me and even teach him the same. His automatic belief was it didn’t work and he refused to even contemplate any evidence that might go against his belief. Interestingly my client fired his guitar teacher because, quote, “I taught him more about playing the guitar in half and hour than he had learnt in over a year of lessons.”

My view is I want to work really hard at making things as quick, easy and simple as possible. The issue is not developing skills, making changes and self reflecting. The issue is enjoying the benefits and results of your personal and professional development. So for me the balance has to be getting the results as fast as possible, clearly some things are hard and take longer than others but having a mindset that is always looking for easiest route to change has surely got to be easier than believing it will be a long hard struggle?

This is why I have developed the processes and systems in The Persuasion Skills Black Book and my download courses in the way that I have. I spent the time looking for the key to learning making learning hypnotic persuasion skills easy.

Dealing with Obstacles

Meanwhile, back at the point here is the question Jamie asked me and my response as a deconstructed process.

Jamie Panter Rintu, how do YOU overcome the barriers of sceptics?

Rintu Basu Let me start with the esoteric. For an obstacle to exist you have to perceive it as one. See it differently and it becomes something different. This guy isn’t objecting he is just letting you know what his beliefs are.

Next stop; get inside his head and understand where that belief is coming from or at least pace it for example…”I can see how you might think that…”

Then redirect his focus e.g…”the issue is not about therapy or self help but about getting the results that you want to get out of life…”

Link to one of his core values, (you might have to ask a values question here but to keep it clean I am going to assume you already know some of them and let’s just use a hypothetical example of “winning” as one of his values)…”and if you could win more often by learning from your experience wouldn’t that be useful for you?”

It’s a very closed question with only one real answer and once he takes it you have a number of possible options:

Conciliatory: “Let me show you how you can get exactly that with the help of a coach.” Notice I am avoiding the words therapy and self help.

Provocative: “If a therapist offered to show you how to be able to do that would you accept?”

Adversarial: “How much of a loser do you become if you refused to accept that result because it came from a self help therapist?”

And I think you could think of a dozen more options from here.

I find people that are very judgemental and / or sceptical have usually got a lot of fear and have built massive walls around themselves. For me to take them seriously they would have to pay me and the nature of their issues is a lot to get through before they would want to pay me. I can find more open people easily.

So long as you remember to leave people in a better place than you found them these people are generally great to play with. They are usually brilliant hypnotic subjects and that means you get to practice all of your covert patterns. Trance them through the floor and have some fun with them. The most difficult thing is not to laugh out loud as you anchor them to a blank state and keep firing it off when they try and say something or give them a giggle button that you press whenever they put food or drink in their mouth.

Sorry Jamie, but you did ask. Any chance I can turn your comments and my responses into a blog post for next week (not any of your friends because that would not be fair to them)? I’ll send you a copy before publishing.

Jamie Panter
Hi Rintu,

Good answers my friend! Your spin on it is fantastic. One thing Quest has taught me almost as a by product is language. I find that therapeutic language works very well in non therapeutic situations. And I find myself doing it almost automatically now. There is so much to take in but I am getting there.

Very happy for you to use this in your blog – you can even use my full name as it will help with the google rankings of my name for when I start my practice.

If you want to get the low down on covertly getting round the beliefs that people use as obstacles a great place to start would be Advanced Persuasion Patterns. You can find out more about this download persuasion skill course below:

 APP Picture

6 Comments on “NLP Techniques, Dealing with Difficult People”

  1. Rintu Basu

    Hi Sam,
    It is very simple but is easier to explain than to write down. Call in to the office some time and I will talk you through it. Whilst the idea sort of works with a keyboard it only really works properly for guitar.

  2. Sam

    Hey Rintu,
    Very interesting read. I am currently studying towards a music degree (and have a new but growing interest in NLP) and this approach to learning scales you have mentioned intrigues me! Would love to get some more info if possible?
    Sam Rollings

  3. Rintu Basu

    Hi Andy,
    Let’s arrange a chat over skype and I will explain it to you. It’s all straight forward but needs a few minutes talking through. But here is a point to ponder though, what purpose do you have for learning your scales? I ask because many guitarists learn scales without understanding why they are learning them. There are some limited applications where it is really useful to know your scales, but many things that guitarists are trying to achieve are easier if when you focus on other systems.
    Lets arrange a call and I will explain all, along with some places you can go to find out more.



  4. Andy

    Hi Rintu,

    Thanks for this post. I have the perfect friend who I can practice overcoming loud skeptical objections with. These tips will help me to sounds out his beliefs, I wish I had heard of this email sooner.

    One thing I agree whole hearteldy with is listening carefully and leaving someone in a better place than you found them.

    An extension of this which I picked up and is working its way into my NLP/hypnosis anthology is to take the most gratification for changing peoples minds even when they dont realise they just backflipped on themselves. Pointing out that they just spun the record in reverse and flipped 180 degrees is self gratifying for a split second but usually unravells in your face and makes that person much harder to influence in the future.

    Thanks again, Andy

    PS – I would also love to get a copy of the guitar riffs technique, sound amazing!

  5. Bill Edmondson

    Hello Rintu,
    I am really interested in learning how to do the “Guitar scales”, I’ve been trying to get the Guitar down for a while and I hate,the long hard way. If you have a technique or a course on that I sure would be interested. And now about sceptical people. I can really use this. I have a neighbor that’s always making, what I perceive as “nasty” comments and I’ve been confused as to how to deal with it. I always felt he was somewhat insecure, the issue isn’t his insecurity though it’s how I pace and lead him to a positive result and as you say “Leave him better than I found him”. thanks for the great article Rintu.


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