Obnoxious NLP

Is the goal of personal change work to be nice or to be effective?

Some of the most effective NLP interventions haven’t been very nice?

When Tony Robbins asked a woman crying her eyes out, “Who peed on your face?” It wasn’t particularly nice.

But it was effective.

It interrupted the patten and enabled the woman to deal with her problem.

When Richard Bandler finds out a certain tonality disturbs a person and deliberately uses it again and again to move a client, he isn’t being particularly nice.

But he is being effective.

So how can you know when you’ve gone too far?

The key is rapport.

When you are working one on one, in person or on the phone, you can maintain your rapport.

But when you are working via copy, how can you check rapport?

For example, one fabulously successful site created negative rapport with the readers. It was called “RIch Jerk.”

People actually looked forward to his insults.

I wrote an email for him to mail and it was filled with insults. But his audience loved it.

What made people stay with that copy despite it’s insults?

Your thoughts below.


  1. I want to believe NLP works. I have attended a Tony Robbins seminar in person,purchased Dr. Wayne Dwyer’s NLP cds, Laws of attraction by Ester Hicks, Joe Vitale’s “The Missing Secret abd Dr. Kilstein’s Hypnotic Secret. I spend 2-3 hours 5 days a week practicing these techniques and have had no success. Please tell me what to do?

  2. I’ve only learned any NLP from watching a workshop by David Gordon. He takes a long time to get his point across and sometimes I think he could fit 2 hours of teaching into 10 minutes, BUT I will say that what he teaches is practical and it works for me at least.

  3. Nita, I’m not sure Wayne Dyer’s products are NLP based at all. NLP works. You might benefit from some one-on-one work.

  4. David is one of my favorite NLP teachers for his ethics and deep caring that everyone in the room gets it.

    He also has a wicked sense of humor.

  5. Many of us have experienced newly rich people being arrogant jerks.

    Fans of the Rich Jerk accept this as “normal” and since they want to be rich (and arrogant jerks) like him, they look at it as part of the game.

  6. He wasn’t an NLP person, but one of the most abrasive people I encountered–and learned a lot from–was Albert Ellis, founder of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. He wasn’t so hot on rapport, though, and his language drove quite a few people out of his lectures. Those who stayed learned some great stuff, though.

  7. I was never really an Albert Ellis fan. Although I know people who loved him. Good call Jurgen.

  8. Dr. Wayne Dyer’s NLP stands for No Limit Person, not Neuro-Linguistic programming.

  9. Nita, I have been experimenting with a lot of things since I was 15! I tried The Silva Method, Esoteric Meditation, Burt Goldman’s Stuff, NLP… In fact, I tried so many things I do not even remember them all…

    You must have a similar story. However, I have found that everything (or most of the things) out there work for someone, otherwise so many people would not swear by them. What happens is, someone finds A WAY and they teach it to be THE WAY, constricting their points of view (sometimes sometimes not).

    As a learner your responsibility is to keep an open mind and apply what you are learning and evaluate your experiences. I believe that versatile as we are, the human species, we can adapt to anything and make it our own. The problems occur when a part of you keeps yourself from APPLYing and DOing the things you must do in order to MASTER a certain philosophy or technique or approach, or when you are too imPATIENT to get results…

    I believe it was Vincent Van Gogh who said that GREAT things are merely the accumulation of small repeated successes and even failures…

    SO just DO…
    keep an OPEN MIND…
    and WAIT for the results…

  10. I think that some people get turned on by the shock value and slight adrenaline rush that insults and bad language provides. I remember seeing The Rich Jerk’s ads and they were very compelling, until so many people started to copy it and it started to lose its shock value.

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