The title of this article was inspired by the fact that it’s Valentine’s Day, but it could actually fit any particular time in your life, when you have felt so in love, connected, attached to someone that you failed to see how controlled, manipulated and miserable you really were.
About 10 years ago I was chatting to a dear friend of mine Henk Beljaars about what in the world of neuro linguistic programming (NLP) would be known as Meta Programmes, for the rest of us we can call them motivational patterns or traits that drive people to do or not do, to act or be still.
These patterns underpin human behaviour, who you choose as your partner, for how long, why you are still single, who you work for, work with and why you work alone. All of these patterns, which mix and blend together to make us all unique, yet also predictable.
The particular group of patterns we were discussing are called ‘Rule Structures’ please see the diagram. Now, as the words suggest these are the patterns that govern how you will behave according to the ‘Rules’ you have inside your mind.
The literature gives us 4 patterns:
Take a look at the images above to get the gist. Now, after a few beers we began to put the world to right (as you do) and we realised that there is a pattern missing! A pattern that must be present in order for someone to survive when in a relationship with a dictator.
Allow me to explain, if you or your partner, friend or colleague have one of the first 3 patterns then you can put up with the other but what if your partner or colleague is No/My they have no rules for themselves, but they have plenty of rules for you. Telling you how to behave, what to eat, who you can text, who you can’t talk about, etc. The person who is to survive in this type of relationship needs a rule structure that until now does not exist, however, the examples of it are all around us and have grown dramatically since March 2020.
The No/My creates a lot of uncertainty as they can never be expected to do the right thing, they will just do whatever, fits them in the moment. The partner/colleague in order to maintain the relationship ‘shrinks’ and puts up with bad behaviour, physical and mental abuse, even imprisonment and solitary confinement, all to appease their No/My. The problem is the No/My is only calmed or halted temporarily and will continue to chip away, moving the goal posts and maintaining the uncertainty.
Research has shown that ‘uncertainty’ can have a huge psychological and physiological impact on us. BUPA has recently shared data that shows almost 80% of UK teenagers are suffering mental and physical health issues owing to the past 10 months. Why on earth would the No/My inflict this mental pressure on another?
To be in this type of relationship actually burns up your energy reserves, leaving you depressed, wired but tired, anxious and afraid, closing down the executive function of your smart brain. Over a very short period of time, someone who is normally rational and smart can succumb to the power of a No/My rule structure.
Anyway, after another beer we came up with the title for the new Meta Programme, Your/. Your rules for me full stop/ period. This will allow you to realise why seemingly normal people can support and maintain horrendous crimes against humanity.
Think about it…
Let’s imagine having someone in charge of your life that applies rules to you that he/she doesn’t need to follow, maybe being locked inside your own home and then they threaten you, so you can’t meet your friends and family…How are you feeling? “If you comply then you will be safe” but deep inside you know that this isn’t true. Can you see how easily people can become Your/.
Perhaps, you know someone who needs to know this, so that they can wake up? A word of caution, their primitive brain believes that they will be safe so long as they comply although the Nuremberg trials prove that they are wrong. Go gently as you attempt to wake them from the deep, deep sleep that we are all fighting to awaken from.