July 10, 2008

"Love Strategies"

As you may know, ten years ago, I worked with Tony Robbins for three years.
My favorite event during those years was a 3-day program called "Unlimited
Power." That event had many very powerful components to it, but I was
recently reminded of one exercise we did at the event that I found
particularly powerful and I wanted to share it with you today.

The exercise was called "Love Strategies."

The core concept behind the exercise is that all of us desperately want to
feel loved, yet we all have different "strategies" for what it takes to
actually feel totally and completely loved.

As you may also know, Tony's original work flowed from the science of
neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) which teaches that there are three
primary modes of communication we all use:

1. Visual (what we see)

2. Auditory (what we hear)

3. Kinesthetic (what we feel)

In the Unlimited Power program, we taught that Love Strategies flow along
the lines of those three modes of communication too. Some people have
Visual strategies for feeling loved, some have Auditory strategies, and
others have Kinesthetic strategies.

What do I mean by that? It breaks down like this:

Visual Love Strategy
People who have this strategy need to "see" that you love them. Seeing it
takes the form of receiving flowers or gifts, unexpected thoughtful acts
(like a special romantic evening or getaway, a massage, a day of pampering,
etc.). People with this strategy need to see "evidence" or "proof." Does
that make sense?

Auditory Love Strategy
People with this strategy need to hear the words "I love you" (or similar
words) to feel totally and completely loved.

Kinesthetic Love Strategy
People with this strategy need to be touched in certain ways or in certain
places to feel totally and completely loved. It might be massaging the
scalp a certain way, kissing a certain spot under the neck, rubbing an ear
just so, etc. It should be noted that this strategy rarely if ever involves
touch of a sexual nature.

During the Unlimited Power program, we also taught that if you don't know
what your significant other's Love Strategy is, and if you don't use it on
a regular basis, they'll never feel totally and completely loved by you, no
matter how many times you use another strategy. And ultimately, that's not
good for a relationship.

Now, before I continue, I must add that we all like being "told" we're
loved using all 3 strategies, but we all have one that's our preferred
mode, one mode that really "does it" for us and has the most powerful impact.

When I first did the Love Strategy exercise, I discovered that I had a
Visual Love Strategy, which meant that you could tell me you loved me all
day long, touch me in all kinds of ways, and while I might think those
gestures were nice, they wouldn't really make me feel totally and
completely loved unless you did something to "show" me. Since I didn't have
many people around me at the time, or during my childhood for that matter,
who used a Visual Love Strategy with me, I rarely felt totally and
completely loved.

Since I knew my strategy before marrying my wife, Cecily, and since I told
her about it, she can use it to make me feel as loved as she wants me to feel.

That's very important. In fact, one of the times in my life I felt most
loved was a few years ago when Cecily took me on a surprise trip to Key
West, Florida for my birthday. She spent hours researching and choosing the
best bed and breakfast to stay in. She planned out special dinners, set up
massages for me, rented bikes for us to ride all over the island, and a
bunch of other things. Plus, she paid for all of it with her own money
which was no small gesture. Then she allowed the weekend to unfold in
mysterious ways, not telling me anything in advance. The fact that she
"showed" me her love in such a powerful way was amazingly impactful on me.
I'll never forget it - or how I felt the entire time we were there.

Similarly, since we eventually did the exercise together, I know what
Cecily's Love Strategy is and can use it to help her feel totally and
completely loved too. This helps our relationship in major ways - for
obvious reasons.

Here are a few guidelines you can use to determine your Love Strategy and
the Strategy of your significant other. The guidelines should be used by
both partners, even though I word them below just from your perspective:

1) Ask your partner the following question, using these exact words: "In
order to feel totally and completely loved, do you need to hear the words,
'I love you?'" If you get a no, repeat the question with the next Strategy:
"In order to feel totally and completely loved, do you need to be touched
in a certain way?" If you get a no, repeat the question with the third
Strategy: "In order to feel totally and completely loved, do you need to
see it through actions?" In each case, ask your partner to say yes or no
and tell you the answer that first pops into their mind. No thinking or
analyzing. Then test it. If they said they need to hear it, experiment with
telling them in the weeks that follow and notice the impact it has.

The same goes for the other strategies. The trickiest one is the
Kinesthetic Strategy since you'll need to dialog and experiment to find the
special spot and the special way to touch it. Sometimes your partner knows
and can tell you, and sometimes you have to experiment until you find it.
If you don't discover the Strategy using this method, try repeating the
questions at another time when you're both more relaxed and focused, or go
on to the following options to discover the Strategy, or to look for the
clues that'll lead you to the Strategy.

2) Ask your partner: "What do you desire from me above all else?" This may
lead directly to the Strategy - or provide great clues.

3) Ask yourself: "What have I most often requested from my partner?" This
may lead directly to the Strategy - or provide great clues.

4) Ask your partner: "What have I most often noticed as missing in my
relationship?" This may lead directly to the Strategy - or provide great clues.

5) Ask your partner: "What does my partner do that hurts me most deeply?"
Sometimes, what causes a hurt like that gives a major clue to the Love
Strategy too, since it's may be the opposite of the Strategy.

6) If you're an Invisible Path to Success or 11th Element veteran, use the
System to ask for help to uncover the Love Strategies for you and your
significant other.

Take the time to discover your Love Strategy today, and that of your
partner. I can't tell you how much of a difference it makes in your
relationship and in your own emotional "quality of life."

- By Bob Scheinfeld

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