Friday 19 July 2019

I've been neuro-linguistically re-programmed

Have you heard of NLP? I have, in some detail. Hence I know that NLP is short for Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Its proponents describe it as 'the science of modelling the patterns of human behaviour'. NLP, they say, is a powerful system of thinking that can accelerate the achievement of your personal and professional goals. Personally, I'd describe it as horse shit and about as far from science as I am from being the mother of Ryan Gosling's first-born.

The reason I know this, is because the man opposite me in a Soho boozer is telling me about NLP loudly. And as I am on a first date with him, I must listen. "Your body language is terrible", he shouts, grabbing the glass of red wine in my right hand and the white wine in my left and putting them on the ledge before twisting me towards him. I nervously face him while he explains his powers with language. I fidget awkwardly. 'Stop playing with your hair, it'll get greasy', he shouts.

I met this guy on the internet and as Forrest Gump once put it - life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get. Well Tinder too is like a box of chocolates, but every third chocolate is a small turd that just looks like chocolate.

'Let's go somewhere else', I suggest, marching towards my bus stop. At the next bar, I chat to a girl while he plays with his phone. She is interesting and funny, as is her friend. We all laugh about Tinder and then, as the World Cup semi-final is starting, I suggest we all watch it together. This makes my neuro-linguistic progammer mad. He pulls me aside and hisses 'what did you do that for? If they come and sit with us I'm leaving'. And so the girls, sensing the seismic atmospheric shift, sit at a separate table having fun while we watch the match in relative silence. Before the final whistle is even blown, I'm putting on my runners, getting ready to sprint. 'When are we going on a second date' he asks. 'Maybe next week?' I say. I'm lying of course, but his NLP skills seem to be failing and he can't tell.

Sunday Independent

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