What are meta-programs?

What are meta-programs?

Meta programs are patterns (programs) that determine how people prefer to behave in a certain context, automatically, according to their autopilot. Does this sound familiar? Indeed, meta-programs are one of the filters in the NLP communication model.

A brief summary of how different types of filters work:

  • Many people startle by seeing something green and slippery that looks like a snake. When they find out a few seconds later that it was a plastic hose, their reaction changes again.
  • A woman who always feels insecure when her husband talks to other women – “I’m exchangeable, he can exchange me for someone else …” – when she sees “a woman standing near my husband.” When she enriches her image and brings in more details, she sees that her husband is not interested in other women at all or that the other women are not even his age. It’s not like they go to Paris together for a weekend or anything!

Meta programs are also filters. People’s meta-programs color our actions, thinking, choices, preferences, perception, the way we experience situations, and the way we subsequently react.

Meta programs have nothing to do with identity. And again: they are not character traits, but filters.

You can read a lot from someone, for example by observing. Observing people gives you information, so much so that you may need to structure that information. So you’re going ‘meta about someone’s programs’. You can do that with meta-programs!



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