The obvious follow-up to a post like The Meaning of Your Communication is The Response You Get is this next Neuro-Linguistic Programming presupposition:

You Cannot Not Communicate

We’re all always communicating, even when we don’t mean to or want to. Remember when I wrote that words only form 7% or so of our communication, the rest is 38% tonality and 55% body language? You might be pretty slick with your wordplay, but how aware are you of your tonalities and body language?

This is what enables you to ‘pick up’ on ‘vibes’ when you notice someone saying one thing, but you feel they mean another, and you can feel that they’re lying, or hurt, or secretly planning a surprise birthday party. They don’t say it, but maybe they reveal it unconsciously in the little things they do, and your ever aware unconscious picks it up.

Eeek! They Know What I’m Thinking!

That’s what I first thought when I heard this! But no worries, because the map is not the territory, there’s leeway for misunderstanding, and not everyone is as sensitive or aware enough to catch the unconscious parts of communication and intrepret it correctly.

How Can You Use This?

If that’s true, then what’s the good of this presupposition?

If you’re someone who’s dealing with people on a daily basis (hey, that’s everyone!), you can learn to fine-tune your awareness to be able to more closely get their territories on your map.

Milton Erickson, one of the lead models for NLP and the father of modern hypnotherapy, was famous for his ability to pick up on the communication that people couldn’t help but communicate.

There was a lady that came in to see him, who walked in, and sat down on the chair. Before she could say a word, Milton asked her to go back out, and come in again. She did, and Milton immediately asked her about her illicit love affair, astounding her because no-one else besides her and her lover knew!

Milton was able to perform ‘miracles’ of all sorts like these, but he said it was all a matter of training your awareness because ‘people reveal themselves all the time’. In the case above, he said it was all a matter of observing the woman’s body language.

If You Could Not Not Communicate, What Would Be Different?

Do your best not to freak out for one thing 😉

But if you’re concerned about revealing yourself unintentionally; here is something to think about: congruence is power.

An feel the aura of power emanates from someone who is 100% behind something. A wishy washy attitude, however, doesn’t inspire confidence.

A difference for me that believing that I cannot not communicate has been that it’s made me more aware of being congruent. If I couldn’t not communicate, then I better make one damn fine communication, and that means making myself as aligned and congruent as I can be.

If you’ve caught the whiff of responsbibilty coming over from The Meaning of Your Communication is The Response You Get you’d be absolutely right.

Besides taking responsibility for your communication when someone else doesn’t get it, you also take responsibility for not getting their communication at the same time. Somewhere somehow in some manner they were saying it to you with their words, tonality and body language, the only question is if you were aware enough to have caught it.

It might sound a bit unreasonable to take so much responsibility, but taking responsibility also means taking personal power. And heck, we’re shooting for excellence here, not mediocrity 😉

So if nobody couldn’t not communicate, what would be different for you?

NLP 101 Series:

NLP 101: What is NLP? Part 1
NLP 101: What is NLP Special for The Super NLP Hardcore
NLP 101: What is NLP? Part 2
NLP 101: So Dark The Con Of NLP
NLP 101: How NLP Changed My Life
NLP 101: The Map Is Not The Territory
NLP 101: There Is No Failure Only Learning Experience
NLP 101: Every Behaviour Has A Positive Intention
NLP 101: The Meaning of Your Communication is The Response You Get
NLP 101: You Cannot Not Communicate
NLP 101 Thoughts: You Cannot Not Change The World
NLP 101: People Are Always Making The Best Choices They Have
NLP 101: People Are Not Broken
NLP 101: You Cannot Not Communicate: The Pygmalion Effect
NLP 101: Everyone Already Has All The Resources They Need
NLP 101: There Are No Resistant Listeners, Only Inflexible Speakers
NLP 101: Life Is A Series of Systems