It’s about the Context

A couple of days ago I was talking to a friend on the phone. As funny as it might sound, she complained about complaining too much, and that this sometimes destroys the rapport she has with people. Paracelus said that quantity makes poison, and as such anything is bad that is done too much. However, complaining in and by itself is a useful thing. So I told her that I thought that was great, and that if I ever wrote a book, I would send it to her. She laughed, and asked why?

Well, the truth of the matter is that we all have different beliefs and values, which is great, as it means that we are all different. However, some beliefs are more supportive than others, and even if they are wickedly unscientific, they do help. One of the beliefs of NLP, and it has also come to be one of my beliefs, is that behind any behavior is a positive intention.

That said, it does not mean that it will always be easy to find that intention, even though there will be one. There always is a certain need to be fulfilled and sometimes the way we go about doing that is not only inefficient, but harmful to us or others. Once we realize that, we can change what we do, to do something else…

Looking objectively at any behavior, we can always find at least one context where this behavior is useful. So all we really have to do it change the context, and see if then this behavior is any better. The way I do this is by imagining the person doing it as an actor, and all that changes is the background. Sooner or later, I find a background that fits and then I tell the person what this context is.

So, my friend laughed, and asked my why I would send her my book. Then I told her that complaining itself means that she sees problems, and as such, seeing the problems in whatever I might write about is a good thing, not only for me, but also for future readers. She laughed and said that I am a very positive person, and indeed I am. Why? Simply because the alternative sucks, doesn’t it?!


2 thoughts on “It’s about the Context

  1. I like this a lot.
    Efficient use of resources. Making the best out of all faults (faults? no such thing) is a fine way to succeed. Don’t just see the best in people, make the best out of people.

    Though that sounds a little exploitative.

    Not like that.

  2. CJ says:

    I like the thought. But so did JC, Bakunin, and Marx.

    But yes, it’s a matter of channeling these behaviors – I wouldn’t hire a soft-spoken, compromising individual to chase my accounts receivable. Exploitative? Human nature – I also was hired for personality traits and behaviors that don’t show on my CV.

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