Can’t Live With Em, Can’t Kill Em: Relationship Strategies

Relationships are amazing. For a transformational shift in the quality of your relationships, consider how you think of people in terms of not so much what they are doing to you but instead, what are you doing to them.

Years ago, I studied in a Shinto shrine in Tokyo. It was an amazing experience that presented me with many, what I thought at the time, were revolutionary concepts on the subject of relationships. I have since realised how mainstream the concepts are. It was just me that had never been exposed to them before.

Combining this philosophy of how to live a life that is surrounded by so many people in such close proximity without going crazy with my studies into NLP was the birth of Neuro Relationship Therapy (NRT). NRT is a look into the neurology of how people handle relationships at a systems level.

The outcome of this combination uncovered many solutions to things like depression, feeling overwhelmed, drug-related issues, anger and anxiety. These negative emotions and behaviours are the building blocks of how to create a horrible and disastrous series of relationships.

In the previous post, we looked at the primary reason for relationship breakdown, that being values misalignment. In this post, we are all about the subject of strategies.

About Strategies

No, we are not going to war with our partners. Strategies refers to a specific sequence of events, along with internal and external checks that give a person the signal and emotion to say yes, or no, to a given situation. My god that sounds complicated. How about we start again?

Strategies are a series of steps that you go through to be able to say yes, or get a great feeling. If you understand the strategies of another, instead of guessing and hoping, you get a thing right. You just do the strategy. The result is that you have a happy person in front of you. This has tremendous applications in business for getting sales and agreement,  but the greatest area of all is within a loving relationship.

You could think of this process as do A, then B, then C. If all these things are present, then D is the mental and emotional signal in your body that says yes. If, on the other hand, you get A but no B, you don’t get to C, which means there is definitely no D.

Strategies play a huge part in our lives. Virtually every behaviour is a strategy. Walking, talking, eating, these are all basic strategies. Friendship, love and sex are others. The principles of how they work are the same. Now, this is where it gets interesting. People generally, and foolishly, expect that their strategy for a thing will be exactly the same as everyone else.

Years ago I was presented with two absolutely lovely people, in their thirties and madly in love with each other but they were having issues in the bedroom. You might be thinking, I thought you said they were madly in love. Isn’t sex just a natural aspect of being in love? Yes is the answer, but not if you have different strategies.

As I tell you about the presenting issues you will laugh and understand. The guy was a gentle and respectful soul who wanted nothing but happiness for his partner. He would come up to his lovely, and I must add, very sexy, wife and start hugging and kissing her. So far, the strategy is working well. Step A is all good, now to step B. He noticed that there was little to no perceivable reaction to his advances. Being a sensitive individual, he took this as she was not that interested and would instantly back down and walk away or roll over. Meaning in his mind, no Step B being reached meant no C, and definitely no D.

Now, when I talked to his lovely partner to discover the strategy that she was using, I discovered some interesting things and an explanation for both of them. She explained that he would make an advance towards her, she would love it. He would hold her, she would love it. Kissing her passionately, oh god, she was in heaven. But being a good Catholic girl, she would just stand or lie there. This, of course, failed to fulfil his second step, and he would, of course, stop. She, on the other hand, was going slowly demented with sexual frustration.

The solution, of course, was dramatically simple. First, the removal of some negative behavioural anchoring caused by a Nun (negative anchoring will be covered in the next post). The second step was at the point in which she was in the mood and heading for step B. I installed the ability for her to take hold of a certain part of his anatomy. This, of course, fulfilled his step B, which of course led to step C, followed by a lot of step D.

Strategies are everywhere and in everything we do. If you take the time to discover a few of your partner’s strategies and implement them I promise a dramatic change in the quality of the relationship. Often we could call the subject of strategies just paying very close attention. How do they drink their tea, with or without sugar? What gesture or facial expression means it is definitely coffee time?

Possibly one of the most simple, yet vitally important, strategies which can easily be overlooked is the love strategy. How do you know that you are loved? What has to happen, most people will instantly answer with “you just know don’t you?”  Yes, you do just know after you have gone through Step A, B, C to get to the final D, which we call the feeling of being loved.

If the first steps are unfulfilled, the feeling is not reached. The sadness for many is that one partner may be trying their heart out to be a loving partner, but just missing an element and all of their effort is for nothing. Even worse, their partners will begin to resent them for not receiving the sensation of love that we all crave and deserve. Be aware that there is potential wackiness that turns up all the time in this area as well.

In the home of a young man that I knew in my youth his parents fought continuously, The father was continually getting caught sleeping with other women. However, with all of the fighting, this couple stayed together until the wife’s death from cancer in her late 40s. The young man in question was very good looking and had a continuous parade of beautiful young women attached to him. Until one day he found himself going out with a very plain looking partner. There was no time at all before they were engaged and married.

One week after the marriage it started. They were in an elevator. She said something like “If you don’t do it, I will leave and take half of your apartment with me”. It was at this point that he turned, grabbed her by the throat, lifted her feet off the ground and began to strangle her. The elevator doors opened, and he dropped her immediately. People entered, travelled to the next floor, the people left, and as the elevator doors closed he proceeded to strangle her again. That was nearly 40 years ago. From what I have heard they are still together arguing and fighting. She has developed debilitating arthritis. Arthritis to me is the physical presentation of long-term unresolved anger.

You may be asking why they are together. The answer is because the fighting and anger is a crucial part of each of their love strategies. It may kill them both, but it does fulfill the process that they require to be able to experience their perception of love. Why didn’t he marry one of the other lovely girls? Simple. These girls may have pressed button 1 and maybe button 2, however, because they never accomplish number 3, the message that this person loves me was never achieved. Clearly, the wife in this situation has a similar strategy which makes them a perfect match, even though they live in a constant pattern of betrayal and hatred.

For NLP practitioners reading this, how about you discover a couple of your partner’s strategies. How about their love strategy, even their deep love strategy. You could be naughty and elicit their arousal strategy. One strategy that will definitely reduce the arguments in a household is the decision strategy. Getting the feeling of being heard is also invaluable.

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