We monitor and filter information because there is too much to take it. We filter because we can short circuit and make faster actions, particularly useful in times of stress, we capture information (Ready, NLP for Dummies). We filter:

  • What is important to our survival
  • That has a novelty value
  • What has a high emotional content

When we take information in we can do 4 things with the information:



Generalise (or faulty thinking)


(adapted from Chomsky, Bandler, Grinder)

Important memories are significant emotional events (SEE) and these provide root-causes or referral points to future experience. We might then generalise that scenario and when we hit similar situations react with a similar strong emotional response. Any human emotion can become internalised, and when internalised, an emotion stops functioning as an emotion and becomes an identity (John Bradshaw). These filters provide us the ‘map of the world’ and each person’s map is different. We use filters in how we perceive the world and how we shape the world. We can’t say everything, so we choose elements.

Breaking through filters

  • Language – NLP Meta Model – often we presuppose (assume) in what we say or hear, and these examples and questions help prevent misunderstandings
  • Cognitive Distortions (faulty Thinking) – seeing what we assume when we hear
  • Emotional Bull – phrases and attitudes that disconnects relationships, but demonstrates cognitive distortions
  • Logical Fallacies – When we make poor arguments or justifications of viewa
  • Dealing with Blame and Responsibility