I started doing a little research in the area of ’emotional detachment’ and distancing. It appears that NLP has a great way of reducing the emotional impact of emotions and does help an individual to be more resourceful in handling matters – provided that the dissociation is followed by another resource state.
In the case of some people, this is what seems to happen in depression:
When women are depressed, 99 out of 100 times you’re dealing with people who have lost their voice. With depressed men the issue isn’t that so much, it’s disconnection, and that goes right to the way we raise boys, the way we turn boys into men is through disconnection. We pull them away from their mothers, we now think far too early. We teach them to disconnect from their feelings, disconnect from their vulnerabilities, and to be honest, disconnect from caring all that much about others. And when I deal with a depressed man, I am always dealing with a guy who is cut off.
In other words, a man who gets depressed may show it by being emotionally wirhdrawn – almost similar in nature to the standard dissociative techniques in NLP such as fast phobia cure.
One of NLP’s tenets is the use of well-formed outcomes. To be able to manage our future direction more effectively, it is often recommended we set goals, but I think NLP has gone one step further to infuse cybernetic outcome clarification into human behavior.
By considering the outcome clearly, we can be a little more certain that the direction we are moving toward is more effective. It also struck me, this quote:
When men are distressed, we tend to externalize. They reach out. They get into action, and for years that was one of the favorite explanations about why men are quote unquote, protected from depression. Well, many of the things that men move toward, like drink, or compulsive behavior or rage are not good. I don’t think that they protect men from being depressed. I just think they protect men from feeling depressed. And they don’t work all that well. And even when they do work, they come at a very high cost to their lives.
So in the event where emotional expression is deemed by society to be only a “woman” thing, it causes suppression, and habitual suppression turns into habit and often gets subsumed into unconsciousness. So now, you have someone who may be highly attuned to emotions but completely hides it without knowing why.
In planning the outcome, one ought to be more focused in the state that creates a solution. Depression cannot engulf someone who is acting on the feelings of playfulness, compassion and intimacy. A lot of the time, these states will also drive different kinds of actions than depression and supression.
Emotional detachment, however, does not always mean it’s a guy thing. I also know women who claim that “crying” is for babies.A healthy expression of emotions allows others to see what you are feeling because in the case of people who are unable to experience it, there’s hardly any empathy for someone who does feel sad. The experiencer may feel a Level 10 emotion but the observer may only calibrate to a 1.
Scaling Empathy For Depression
We know that people who are around depressed people need some kind of skill for empathy – that is for us to recognize the feelings before it is too late – relationships could be lost, and lives destroyed, simply because such experiencers don’t know how to really understand the emotions in others.
In NLP, we can do a variety of things to assist in handling our depression.
- Learn to experience the full-blown emotion and process it externally, rather than just internally.
- develop a belief pattern that it is okay to be emotional about certain feelings, simply to process and experience the emotion; to stick it out may not be the best thing.
- generate a sequence of reframing to the process of the emotional experience. When you feel bad, it’s not just about stopping the bad feelings completely. Sometimes, bad feelings are signals (like pain) for something that’s going wrong. We need to experience the bad once in a while, and understand what we need to learn and do after this experience. It could be a breakup, a business issue, a loss of a loved one, a betrayal from someone you care about, etc. What did you learn from this experience?
- generate a timeline sequence that helps you to sustain a corrective action. How do you carry out your change process? What are you doing that leads you closer toward your desired relationship/career/social outcomes once you have learnt what to do?
- Build a propulsion mechanism that enables you to link pleasure toward moving in the direction of your desired goals no matter how distant it may appear to be, while creating an away-from to that which caused your depression in the first place
Finally, learn to create positive feelings everywhere you go and make people around you feel good. I think that’s a great full-dress rehearsal for making things better in your life.