nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

'But' as an attentional black hole

The NLP Mindfest is offering free listening to lectures for 24 hours each (and after that you can get the whole batch for download or on CD, but it isn't cheap)-- the one I'm going to talk about is available till 8PM Central Time (1PM GST).

Owen Fitzpatrick explains various ways of using language effectively, and there's one I'd never heard before-- that people get such a strong emotional effect from what comes after 'but' that everything which comes before is ignored. Compare "I want to go, but who knows what might go wrong" to "Who knows what might go wrong, but I want to go."

His point isn't to never use 'but', but to think about where you want the emphasis to be.

Other sections include increasing precision and clarity by using cognitive behavior/general semantics questions-- getting from thinking "everyone thinks I'm stupid" to pinning down who it is and whether they're worth paying attention to-- with a pleasing sidebar about getting rapport and having a sense of proportion about how many questions to ask so that you aren't simply annoying.

Then we get what he calls "the Milton model" after Milton Erickson, a psychologist who did a lot with hypnosis. It's the opposite of the cognitive approach-- it's slipping in presuppositions. Whether you find these suggestions moderately useful or a way of making your life comprehensively better, you will find yourself trying them out and adjusting them for your benefit.

Well, I don't know about you, but I can hear that stuff, and I tend to be rather resistant, though perhaps I overestimate how good I am at it.

Next is motivation-- noticing how little changes in phrasing can make words motivating or demotivating, and exploring how the different ways you talk to yourself affect you.

Link thanks to Steve Pavlina.

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