NLP & Rapport: Sorry, not interested… in you, that is!

I recently had the interesting experience of, in one week, having an extended chat with two people. One of them was much more interested in telling me about their world and their views than in hearing what I thought. The other was more interested in what I was talking about and what I was interested in...

That's what provoked the latest Pegasus NLP Newsletter which has just been published. It's about these two types of people and how to recognise them

It's also about a very large group people - the ones who have very little interest in anyone other than themselves - and who use others as unwitting, and often unwilling, audiences for their own ego-fulfillment.

But why do they get away with this?

Because so many of us 'don't like to hurt peoples feelings' by telling them the truth about themselves 🙂


  1. steph on 28th March 2010 at 10:06 PM

    You wrote “But why do they get away with this?

    Because so many of us ‘don’t like to hurt peoples feelings’ by telling them the truth about themselves.”

    Are you saying that its important to go out there and tell people the truth about what they are doing? I feel uncomfortable with this “should” – or at least that is what I am hearing in your writing and may not necessarily be the truth.

    We all have different ways of living in the world, and we all have different methods of coping with interactions, with awareness or without. I guess for me the choice is, do I want to take up this issue? or move on…

    my thoughts..


  2. Reg on 29th March 2010 at 8:09 AM

    Hi Steph: Good point and one that isn’t made clear in the blog article. However in accompanying Newsletter version ( the suggestion is that we have a choice in whether we spend as much time with such people.

    So, as you suggest, it is more about ‘choice, than ‘should’.

  3. Ben Tien on 6th April 2010 at 4:53 AM

    Well, one thing to note is the levels of rapport that exist. This means that there are some people such as family that we may always have some level of report with due to the length and nature of your social interaction. we must remember though that our level of rapport is constantly refreshing with the evolving flow of our life. You cannot expect to be in rapport with someone because you have had rapport with them yesterday or last week. Rapport is an active process of connection.

  4. Steve Sharkey on 25th April 2010 at 1:09 PM

    My “problem” with this is the label “Sorry not interested… in you that is” this views the interaction from the receiving point of view where this is really the message that someone is sending BUT I think the majority of those sending this message are not concious of the fact and are genuinely puzzled why they don’t seem to click with poeple as easily as others do. Or at least that’s my excuse for the many times I slip into this pattern of behaviour……

  5. Reg on 26th April 2010 at 12:00 PM

    Hi Steve: I agree that it’s often puzzling when we ‘mean well’ and other people seem to completely get the wrong end of the stick – when they misunderstand out intentions and only go by what we communicate 🙂

    It’s the old ‘message intended vs. message understood’ dilema.

    And, as aspiring NLPers, we seek to tailor our communication to make it more straightforward and unambiguous for the individual with whom we are communicating.

    We aim to get it right most of the time – and gradualy reduce the number of misunderstandings…

    The newsletter article is really more about recognising those people for whom we are merely convenient audiences.

  6. Margaret E.Johnson on 6th June 2010 at 8:55 PM

    Audience or sounding board?

    Since I have had counselling training and NLP training I find that I am less of an Audience and more of a Sounding Board. Perhaps I should explain what I mean by this. An Audience in general terms listens and watches rarely participating in any interaction with the performer, a Sounding Board recieves and reflects the message back allowing the performer to hear what their output is like to the reciever of the performance.