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Building a Bigger Idiot

Andrew T. Austin Training | Metaphors of Movement Training | EMDR Training | Integral Eye Movement Therapy Training | Andy Austin

What a bunch of wankers!” exclaimed John on returning from the toilet.

Not literally I hope?” I asked, bearing in mind where he had just come from.

Damn, what an obnoxious bunch of pricks!” he declared.

Yes, John was experiencing his first NLP event. Maybe it was a bit unfair, after all, this event was a typical London “practice group” event complete with guest speakers, NLP-pros and novices and FRBs alike. My suspicion was that John had met some of the “front row brigade” (FRB) in the toilets – not a pleasant experience for anyone, I’m sure.

Anyone who has attended more than a couple of NLP events will be familiar with the Front Row Brigade (FRB). An FRB is a distinctive breed with the following characteristics: Aged 30-something, white, articulate, middle class, high income and attractive. Found in the front row of every NLP event, they will laugh the loudest and the hardest, enthuse over every in-joke no matter tired it is and at all times will be making sure everyone knows that they are enjoying themselves the most.

In recent years I have begun to recognise the emergence of a sinister new characteristic of the “NLP laugh” and although this hasn’t yet reached out into the provinces, I am sure it is only a matter of time.

Encountering FRBs can be unnerving – it is almost impossible to have a normal conversation without them trying to do NLP to you. It is quite revolting.

FRBers often work as management consultants and have collected courses and trainers as badges of honour and status. An opening introductory question from a fully fledged FRBer will usually consist of enquiring just who you trained with and they will use first name terms only as though they are personal friends with their “big name” trainers. If this doesn’t give it away, then the constant over self-assurity and the “I am so happy in life, isn’t it great” smiles will surely reveal it for you – you are guaranteed to be talking to an idiot, albeit a happy one.

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