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27. Right Man Syndrome – (Tales from the Rainbow Machine by Andrew T. Austin)

In Defense of The Right Man

Following various feedback regarding my “Right Man Syndrome – Depressive Thinking Patterns” page, I thought I’d write the patterns from the Right Man’s perspective. For this, we need to invoke the concept of “The Maybe Man.”

In contrast to Right Man, the “Maybe Man” is usually gregarious with good social skills and is, more often than not, popular with others. People tend to feel safe and un-judged around the Maybe Man – the Maybe Man is the “nice guy”, he’s the great friend to have, but he also is the great friend who is also somewhat unreliable.

So these are the patterns of the Right Man, redefined:

Pattern #1 – “There Are No Shades of Grey” – Making Decisions and Sticking with Them.

With this pattern, we see that moderation and mediation are not permissible. Everything is either one thing or another, anything in between is simply not allowed.

Of course, it is this way. The main problem with people is that they make terrible decisions and dither about. “Maybe Men” are everywhere and “Maybe Men” are not only low achievers, but they also tend to infect others with their ineptitude – especially when we have to rely on them for something.

Inhabiting a never-ending shade of grey, The Maybe Man says things like:

“I’ll try…”
”I might do that…”
”I’ll do that later…”
”I really should get around to doing that…”
”I kind of think that I might possibly get around to doing that sometime…”

The Maybe Man is the man who says he’ll do something (possibly), but then “forgets” to do it.

It is this infection with an ineptitude that Right Man seeks to avoid. Whilst the Maybe Man is fundamentally a low achiever who doesn’t get things done, the Right Man is the high achiever who makes sure that things get done, 100% of the time.

When Right Man makes a decision, you know it can be relied on. So, whilst Right Man may exist in a world where everything is either black, or it is white, the Maybe Man exists in a world that is a never-ending shade of grey. It’s all rather inefficient really.

In short, the Maybe Man lacks the ability to commit to responsibility and decision.

He “forgets” whereas Right Man can see that in fact it isn’t that the Maybe Man “forgot.” No! It is that the Maybe Man never bothered to remember.

Right Man knows that to tolerate too many Maybe Men can be disastrous in a business/company situation. Maybe Men can never be relied upon for anything, unless one wishes to accept the risk of disappointment. They need careful management and to be told to pay attention to detail. Repeatedly.

Pattern #2 – “Remembering How Others Fail” – The Rule of Permanency.

The Right Man knows that whilst people may get older, they rarely change their trait behaviours. Recurring patterns occur in people’s lives everywhere and Right Man knows what these patterns are – he looks for them. As the high achiever who gets things done, knowing how other people fail is an important consideration.

Right Man knows that how a person performs on the golf course, for example, may demonstrate well how he will perform in business.

There is the famous “marshmallow” test (Ref: Walter Mischel). The marshmallow test goes like this: A four year old is shown a small room that is empty except for a little chair and a table. A marshmallow is placed on the table and the child is informed that he will be left alone for four minutes. If the marshmallow is still there when the researcher returns, the child is rewarded with another one. If the child eats the marshmallow, which he may do, after all, the marshmallow is now his to own, then he doesn’t get another one after 4 minutes.

The results are remarkable – the “one marshmallow children” –i.e. those that choose to eat it without waiting, will invariably grow up to have a low life success index (i.e. high rates of mental health issues, criminal convictions, imprisonment, divorce and so forth). The “two marshmallow” children invariably grow up to be successful, high income, low levels of divorce and so forth.

The marshmallow test is an incredibly accurate predictor.

As an astute observer of people (remember, Right Man rarely participates – he is too dissociated for that) the Right Man sees this marshmallow test in action every day, just in different forms (see below).

Pattern #3. “You Have Ruined Your Life” – Catastrophisation.

In NLP terms, this is an extreme form of “chunking up”.
This chunking up pattern is very important if Right Man is to ensure things are a success. For example, if an employee can even be relied upon to make a decent cup of tea, can he really be relied upon to draw up a watertight contract?

When the “Maybe Man” says, “Sure, I’ll try to remember to bring your book back tomorrow.” Only to state the following day, “Oh, I am sorry, I forgot.” Can he really be relied on for anything?

For Right Man, identifying small signs of failure and ineptitude enables him to identify the patterns of failure and to chunk up, and, map-across context. Again, how the man performs on the golf course; or simply making the tea; or eats marshmallows can reveal much about the man.

Pattern #4. “I Know You Better Than You Know Yourself” – Superior Knowledge.

Right Man knows well that when the Maybe Man says he “might” do something, he probably won’t. He also knows that when Maybe Man says he “might” do something – the Maybe Man actually believes that he will. In this scenario, Right Man really does know Maybe Man better than he knows himself.

Pattern #5. “I’m Only Doing This For Your Benefit” – Acts of Selfless Duty.

Unlike Maybe Man, Right Man possesses a strong sense of duty. When he says he will do something, he will, even if the execution of the task is rendered difficult or goes unappreciated by the other person/people.

Thus Right Man is often found in high pressure, high stress jobs and careers, where there is little thanks and little gratitude. Few others would tolerate or put up with the pressures willingly – Right Man’s sense of duty enables him to place the responsibility into a frame that enables him to endure where others wilt and fail.

Pattern #6. “Just Deserts. Trapped By Your Own Words” – Linguistic Wizardry.

The Right Man is adept at tracking another speaker’s words and will look for the slightest contradiction and then exploit it. The Rule of Permanency is also invoked, so any contradiction expressed over time is also pointed out. So something expressed last year that is contradicted today will quickly be brought to the speaker’s attention.

If nothing else, Right Man is dependable, if somewhat predictable. This is how he is successful over time. Maybe Man, with his poor decision strategy, unreliability and non-commitment over time tends to be less successful, but he does dream. What Right Man hears, and thus expresses, is the significant difference between the Maybe Man’s dream and his actual reality. Right Man tends not to be so much a dreamer – rather he is the doer. Action rarely relies on talking about it endlessly, just get on with it.

Pattern #7. “The End of The Matter” – Finalisation.

This is easily identified in The Right Man by a number of catchphrases that all exhibit the same characteristic: The Right Man has the habit of ending conversations. Given the drivel he has to listen to – the non-decisions, the ambiguities, the hopeless dreams that will never be actualized, and so forth, we really should not be surprised.

As in pattern #6, action rarely relies on talking about it endlessly, people just need to get on with it.

Often, Right Man can hear the lack of ability to be decisive in the logic of the person speaking – the speaker may be caught in an endless logical loop that doesn’t have an exit point (a bit like the “yes, but, what if……then…” loop) and Right Man, being decisive, seeks to prevent the speaker talking to the detriment of himself.

Pattern #8 – “Shutting Down Conversation – Movement To Closure.”

See above.

Andrew T. Austin
  • Andrew T. Austin
  • Andrew T. Austin is formerly an NLP master practitioner, clinical hypnotherapist, and a nurse with a background in accident and emergency (A&E) and neurosurgery.

    He is the developer of Metaphors of Movement and Integral Eye Movement Therapy.

    #NLP #neurolinguisticprogramming #hypnotherapy

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