My Friend John


My Friend John is another form of metaphor used in story telling and NLP.

  • Research shows…
  • I had a friend who said…
  • I read about this and the person there…
  • Someone told me once that…
  • My friend John has a similar situation and he…

In each case, instead of communicating directly you can put the force of your message in the mouth of someone else. This has the effect of displacing any resistance to your message because you didn’t say it, someone else did.

You can even use this pattern to say things to people that would otherwise be difficult.

You can tell your children a story about a rabbit who was very brave or always went to bed early (whatever you need!).

You can tell your team about a fascinating article you read where the team decided to give their manager…(fill in the blanks).


My Friend John NLP language technique is useful as:

In each case your listeners will unconsciously make links between what you are saying and their own situation.

Unconsciously we take everything personally – that is, we seek to make sense of the world by working out how information affects us.

Knowing this when you communicate begins to give you a reasonable idea of how to steer the mental pictures and associations your listeners are making. They will experience listening to you as an agreeable thing to do, so they will pay attention and you will become more able to hold an audience, more hypnotic.


For detailed training on all of the NLP Language Patterns you can attend one of our NLP Training Courses or access our NLP e-Learning programmes.


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