Negative hot buttonsPush Button - Hot

It happens to everyone from time to time. One minute you’re in a great mood, thinking clearly, looking on the bright side of life. Then something happens and your mood changes and you feel down or irritable.

  • Your work colleague: has a particular look or smile which you find irritating or patronising.  You know she doesn’t intend to be irritating or patronising.  But the moment she does it you’re fighting the red mist!
  • Your son (or daughter): has moved into his teens and is experimenting with not-needing-his-parents.  Innocuous questions like what did you do at school or who did you meet up with last evening are met with grunts!  You love him dearly – but…!
  • Your boss (or any authority figures): You have this involuntary feeling of being intimidated whenever speaking with anybody in authority.  You know it’s irrational – but the feeling still kicks in.

Each of these is an example of an automatic neuro-chemical programmes that in NLP is called a Negative Anchor.  They are stimulus-response patterns and are

  • Quick acting – they can affect our mood in seconds or less
  • Amazingly powerful – no amount of positive intentions or self talk will immunise against them
  • Quite undermining of self-esteem – because they by-pass your positive intention to ‘not let them get to me’

Here in Pegasus NLP we also call these Hot Buttons because it’s as if somebody presses our ‘negative mood’ button causing our mood to change instantly!

This month’s Pegasus NLP Newsletter looks at how Negative Anchors operate and offers a simple process for dealing with them.

Real-world NLP

The newsletter also deals with the question But doesn’t NLP make you immune to these things? and explains why that’s not quite how it works. For instance NLP doesn’t take away our ability to feel “negative” emotions.  Nor do NLPers go about in a bubble of positivity and happiness all day long. In the real world NLP works great.  Using it doesn’t make us immune to emotional ups and downs but it gives us the tools to ensure that

  1. We don’t feel bad as often
  2. We don’t feel as bad should a hot button get activated
  3. We don’t remain in the negative mood for long
  4. We learn from setbacks – making them less likely to occur again.

Real-world NLP courses, such as our own 5-day NLP Core Skills in the New Forest provides us with a toolkit to regain our equilibrium quickly, learn from the experience – and move on.