Change Your Language
Work on your language; do this with and for yourself so that it is natural when you do it with your MLCer. Validate--Life is Hopeless--without agreeing; reassure him and let him know you realize he feels this way. To disagree is to say the statement is untrue, shows you are not listening to, and thus not taking him seriously. Show complete faith and belief in him in general; he is a good person, good in his profession, good spouse, good parent etc. The next part is subtler.
Words to change
- Could to Would
- Can to Will
- Can't to Won't
Could and can are about possibilities; would is more certain; these are also about choice, would, will and won't are about being decisive and accepting the right and ability to choose, but the difference is subtle enough to slip with little notice and enter the unconscious.
- If to When
Be careful with these. When will not be appropriate in all circumstances. There will be times when your MLCer notices the differences and it will seem you are in denial. This is best used when your MLCer is seeking reassurance, during touch-n-goes, return attempts or during the upswing of cycling.
Sounding upbeat and acting if are important, but there is at times there is an obvious undercurrent of inauthenticity when being perky is not the appropriate mood for the context and in such times false perkiness is not how you need to show confidence because it may seem like denial or that you are not paying attention--intentionally by ignoring or unintentionally because you are concerned with your own agenda or issues. Instead be firm in your belief. This is Ericksonian language. Milton Erickson was a Psychiatrist and one of the world's leading experts on hypnosis. Here a few techniques to use.
- Fact + Fact + Fact + statement you want to make.
When you make a series of known true statements a person will be more likely to accept the additional statement as true.
- When + Then: When [something happens--active, emotional, feeling...]...then
You are combining two actions that may or may not be related in normal circumstances. Since you are making this statement as a when rather than an if the actions seem like they must go together and a person will associate them as such. This is a great technique to change habits by linking something you want to do with something you always do. Do you drink enough water through out the day? When you go to the bathroom you then wash your hands and drink a glass of water afterwards.
- How would it feel if you...
Would makes this a hypothetical situation, whereas does references real conditions. MLCers do not want to answer for their actions or place themselves in a position of empathy for you. This can also be used to imagine positive changes in your relationship.
Some MLCers seem certain regarding some actions--such as leaving, others come and go. But MLCers cycle in their behaviors and moods. Regardless of the mask they show, uncertainty simmers beneath the surface. Your certainty that opposes their idea can plant doubt. I chose to believe that regardless of what I saw, Sweetheart was not happy at the alienator's. Sweetheart showed a lot of evidence toward unhappiness, but this may have been because of my certainty; he fooled others. Even when he seemed or acted happy I reminded myself that it was not real; I believed with complete certainty that it was not real. My certainty caused Sweetheart to doubt himself. I seemed strong, happy, confident--qualities that instilled trust and he thought that I might know something; maybe I was right. I manifested my reality.