Frustrated that others see the world so differently?

Why do we all have a different “model of the world”?

How can we respect other’s models to help relationships flourish?

Here, red10 ‘s Sureya Naidoo introduces a concept that the research of Neuro-Linguistic Programming found in the healthiest of minds.

Frustrated by others?

Ever wondered what incites the state of frustration, contention or disdain in you or others (team members, friends, family, associates or a random stranger) when confronted with opposing opinions or perspectives during a discussion or conversation?

Might it be YOU, that is irritated and bothered by the comments, opinions or perspectives of another or others?

Or perhaps ANOTHER or OTHERS, are snarling and appraising your opinion or perspective?

Consider the following – you are in a crucial conversation, where each of you are trying to influence the other, and wherein, neither of you wish to forsake your ‘perspective’, for obvious reasons. This unyielding inner stance from which you both direct your perspectives, is indirectly what forms your character, making it impossible for either of you to back down and ‘let go’.

Notwithstanding, one of you have to lose the lead in the conversation, which may likely leave you or the other person internalizing the outcome as possible defeat, and therefore feeling contrite for being misunderstood or misconstrued.

This could advance into feeling discontentment or struggling with the deeper underlying core issues.

What is a Model of the World?

Don’t despair, the first step towards change, is awareness – the second, is acceptance.

You are exactly ‘WHO YOU ARE MEANT TO BE’.

When you show up authentically, based upon your own beliefs, thoughts, values, while perceiving a situation and selectively asserting your ‘perspective’, which may be contrary to that of another or others, but standing firm in this decision. This is what is referred to as, your ‘Model of the World’. It’s the World as you have seen and lived it.

Why do we each have a different Model of the World?

Our experiences shape us, and form our beliefs, which evolves into our ‘Model of the World’.

Therefore, you needn’t change it. Instead, it requires that you manage the opposing opinions of others, by approaching your interactions cautiously, while holding a level of willingness and openness. The presence of both will allow for a degree of ‘rapport’ to develop. Rapport, is what supports the relationship, as we lean into the moments of difference.

Let’s dive into the insights of how this NLP presupposition, ‘Respect for the other persons model of the world” features in our daily lives, and how we can cultivate rapport to better manage the expectations of others, while managing our own differences, and desire.

FEATURE 1 – Rapport and empathy cultivates ‘RESPECT’

Establishing rapport is essentially valuable, especially as it appears to be lacking, in the World in which we find ourselves today (post COVID).

What is rapport and empathy?

Rapport connotes a relationship of mutual understanding and trust, between two people. It necessitates the ability to put oneself in the position of another. Empathy is an essential skill, to developing rapport with another.

The lesson lies in the experience. Based on past experiences, we know, that when we are engaged in a discussion with someone holding an opposing perspective to ours – no one is willing to back down.

The reason lies within the fact that we affirm ‘WHO WE ARE’ by way of our beliefs, values, experiences, history. This defines us. Our character.


You were cordially invited to visit a home of a colleague or new friend, upon arriving you discover that their home upholds a level of traditional and cultural beliefs, which is represented in how they receive you. ‘They ask, that you to remove shoes before entering their home’  

  • What is your initial reaction to their request?
  • How accepting or resistant are you?
  • Do you perhaps challenge or negotiate from your own perspective?
  • What might be the unconscious or conscious biases that drives your choice in this instant?

The Lesson:

Rapport means ‘respect the sameness, and respect the difference’.

It doesn’t mean you have to ‘Agree with it’. ‘Live by it’. ‘Or even Understand it’

Simply get CURIOUS about their journey, and thus their path, this is how we can affect change rapidly.

FEATURE 2 – ‘RESTRUCTURING’ patterns – through curiosity   

Curiosity is the essence of human existence. The path of courage offers great opportunity, if you simply have the willingness to be open.

By being self-aware and accepting the moment of difference, then having the willingness and courage to step into the light of the unknown, and trust that this is YOUR learning and growth.

Growing older, somehow means, that most of us grow comfortable. We have discovered more about the world, enough to get by in it, and so we stop exploring and succumb to the comfort zone. We forget about our power.

But as with any habit, there’s a way to get back to it. You will inadvertently learn something, either about yourself and your ability to withstand self-imposed shame, or perhaps you discover more about managing your fear, which would otherwise have held you back from learning.


When one person is making a statement or argument with which you disagree, the most common response is to find a rebuttal. This rebuttal tends to occur amidst the discussion, as we feel urged to defend ourselves from the other, particularly, while they are still talking. The stronger the emotional charge around what they are saying, the stronger will be our urge to jump in with a rebuttal, does this sounds familiar?

  • Where are your innate learning capabilities (habits) perhaps holding you back?
  • Where do your (beliefs, thoughts, values and experiences) limit your growth or curiosity?

Reminding ourselves of what curiosity does is the first step of getting there. We need to remind ourselves why we should explore, discover the world, and see what’s behind that strange looking door.

  • Greater self-understanding (Curiosity has an amazing ability to uncover who you are)
  • More Motivation (With a desire to explore — to learn something, to experience someone, to get somewhere — you move forward. It’s a law of human nature. Motivation moves us.
  • Mastery in What You Do (curiosity makes you peak under the hood, climb over the wall, and open the strangest of doors)
  • Deeper Connections (you can learn a new fact, a new story, or even discover a new layer of personality)
  • The Ability to Overcome Fear (curiosity will conquer fear, more than bravery does) because with curiosity is unconscious incompetence, while bravery is conscious incompetence.

Stay curious and empathetic towards yourself, and others, as opposing perspectives emerge during your interactions.

The sequence of curiosity and empathy, helps to minimize, and eventually eradicate any preconceived judgments. This is where the rapport deepens and eventually becomes the Segway to great discoveries of connection and co-creation.


When two beings who are individually honoring their own beliefs, with their own Source of energy come together, the physical experience is co-creation at its best.

In real life, this means practicing more tolerance, patience, acceptance and kindness towards someone who thinks, acts, believes or behaves in a way we personally wouldn’t.

Remembering that as humans we relate to the World and others, by the filters which we co-create with our parents, family, teachers and elders, inherited from our childhood.  This is what enables us to make sense of the World, which appears large and intimidating when young.

Imagine, if we are able to co-create at such a young age, this confirms that we are hardwired to co-CREATE at any point in our lives. As long as the need arises.

As an NLP practitioner, I witness relationships flourish, careers evolve, sales increase, fights stop and love begins, but this can only be made possible – once someone- learns how to begin -to embrace – the aspect of respecting someone else’s model of the world.

Acceptance, patience and empathy towards the differences that live within each being, is what is needed to promote the form of advancement and growth.

  • If you could tap into your innate childlike spirit, and unlearn one thing? What would it be?
  • What may be holding you back from building rapport?
  • What’s standing in the way of your curiousness?
  • Or hindering your path of co-creating new habits?

 ‘The authentic self is the soul made visible’