Understanding anchoring in terms of relationships with our partners and with children is really important and something that is often ignored. Do you understand what associations you are creating between a certain behaviour and your partner/childs interpretations of that behaviour?
What is an anchor? – NLP
Let’s take it back to Ivan Pavlov and his dog experiment.
Pavlov rang a bell and then showed the dogs a steak, rang a bell and showed the dogs a steak, rang a bell and the dogs salivated just as if he had shown them a steak. Pavlov deduced his theory of stimulus-response from this experiment. The bell was the anchor – he had set up the bell as anchor for the dogs.
An anchor occurs any time a person is in an intense state, and at the peak of that intense state/experience a specific stimulus is applied. The state and the stimulus become linked neurologically so that the state can be continually produces by setting of the stimulus.
The stimulus can be anything from music/what we hear, a smell, something we see, a touch, a taste.
So for instance the smell of paint always reminds me of the period before Christmas when my mum used to decorate the house – literally.
Writing this blog has become associated with a cup of Earl Grey – I now always have a cup of tea ready for when I sit down and write.
I’m sure you have a piece of music that reminds you of a specific summer or romance.
These are everyday anchors.
Why is this important to Children and Relationships – NLP Anchors
How you respond when a person close to you is experiencing an intense state, such as grief or sadness at receiving bad news will possibly create an anchor of that state that they relate to you.
What do I mean?
For instance if the only time you hug your spouse is when things go wrong and you are comforting them, on an unconscious level you are creating an anchor for them that associates you with negative feelings. This can have a serious effect on your relationship with them possibly not wanting to be hugged or touched by you, and not understanding why.
The same thing can of course happens with children.
If the only time a child gets attention and a response from a parent is when they exhibit behaviour the parent doesn’t want, then they may persist in that behaviour in order to get attention. That’s why praising and reinforcing the behaviour you want is so important.
Anchors are very powerful, unconscious and something we all could be more aware of.
What Anchors are you creating?
A further simple example is again with dogs.
I often see owners having serious problems getting their dog to come to them and when the dog eventually returns the first thing they do is scold it or hit it.
Would you come back to someone if you knew the response would be pain?
Take a moment to look at the possible anchors you are setting in relationships with your partner or children. Are you creating positive anchors that will encourage growth in the relationship and elicit the association/behaviour you want?
If you’d like to find out more about anchoring and setting anchors for a state of excellence as well as learning to collapse negative anchors, why not join me on my NLP Practitioner Training at the end of November 2011.
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