In NLP we call it a reframe – the altering of meaning.
Most of us understand that we don’t see the world as it is, but as we are. Theoretically, we have a choice in determining what things mean.
However, few of us consciously alter how we see the world. NLP reframing offers the tools to do that.
Here’s an example from an iNLP Center student who was learning about reframing meaning. She’d had a rough past and suffered with social anxiety.
In her words:
For example, in my life I tend to allow myself to approach social situations negatively because I assume that due to my rough past, I come off as un-relatable. I judge myself harshly, and assume that others do too.
But if I were to reverse this assumption, it would benefit me because I would be then telling myself that it’s BECAUSE of my rough past that I am, in fact, relatable. I have been through things and am admittedly imperfect, which puts others at ease because they are also imperfect and have made mistakes.
This simple change in outlook has completely flip-flopped my entire view of being social, and made me much more comfortable in my own skin. I feel that I can meet new people, and attend social events with a sense of calmness and ease that I never thought possible.
You can read her entire post on her website.
Of course, social anxiety is not necessarily a simple issue that yields easily to any intervention. However, we should all be open to understanding that altering the meaning of things (especially social phenomena) is an inevitable part of the process of healing.