Last week we began exploring the impact of being internally referenced in a given context using NLP Metaprograms. Reading back last weeks blog I realise I was not clear about the definition so here it is.
You are internally referenced if you rely on your own evaluation of your behaviour and context. You are completely internally referenced in that context if you totally disregard, ignore or even delete evaluations from other people.
Only you will know if you have contexts where this applies.
Look again at my statement above. Someone who is internally referenced would process this as being true. For someone more externally referenced they may not understand the statement. For people with a more mixed reference system it will make sense somewhat.
So having evaluated yourself you may have identified some areas in your life that may not be working as well as you might have wanted. Let’s look at an example, personal relationships.
Imagine a situation where one person in the relationship is internally referenced in regard to their behaviour towards their partner. They are likely to ignore, disregard or explain away their partners opinions and expressions of unhappiness.
If this goes on for any length of time the relationship may well break up. For the internally referenced person there may be the experience of one relationship after another breaking up for “no apparent reason”.
If you recognise that you are unable to sustain a relationship and that you regularly take a position of being right perhaps you might want to consider examining how you process feedback from others.
You may not want to do this but only you can decide whether your happiness is important enough for you to consider some alternatives.
You could start by asking for some feedback from someone who knows you well enough to give you some clues. They may be reluctant to do so of course if in the past you have had a tendency to ignore feedback!
You might want to write down all the feedback without comment. Thank the person and then quietly reflect on what you have written down. I wonder if you will notice your internal response to the feedback. You might want to make a note of it.
Now you could ask yourself:
“Have I received this feedback before?”
If the answer is “yes”, it might be worth considering how often and from whom? A general rule of thumb I follow is that if you keep getting the same feedback there is a chance you might want to take notice!
If you have decided this context is important enough you could ask several people if you can so you can compare notes.
If you are familiar with the exercise of perceptual positions you could explore stepping into your partner’s shoes or looking at the relationship from a meta position. If you are able to truly adopt a new perspective you might be able to add some new data into your evaluation.
Even if you are still wanting to reject the feedback of others you could ask yourself what it would mean to you if the feedback were true?
These are just some suggestions, only you will know if they are valid for your experience and life. If you have an opinion or decide you would like to let me know how you get on I am keen to know so you could leave a comment.