Everything we do invariably has a positive intention. Our action is always towards obtaining a favourable outcome whether or not we are aware of it. A behaviour may appear negative to us but may not be so once we understand the intention behind it. NLP makes a distinction between the purpose or intention behind the action and the action itself.
We all have a reason for whatever we do. We are always aiming to achieve something. We might think of someone else’s action as annoying. But the person performing it has a positive intention. He has a purpose which could be to feel relaxed whenever he smokes or to boost his courage whenever he gets drunk. A moment’s reflection on our part will enable us to comprehend his behaviour better.
By recognizing his positive intention, we can suggest alternative behaviours that are less harmful and which could make him feel just as relaxed or boost his courage just as much. Accepting that every behaviour has a positive intention, we are less likely to react adversely to other people’s actions and disapprovingly of how they think. In NLP, behaviour includes thoughts as well as actions. With such understanding of their intention, we can become more tolerant in our everyday interactions with other people despite the fact that everyone has a different mental perception of reality.
We may condemn other people whose actions are immoral or criminal. But from their perspectives, they have a positive intention in what they do. We simply do not understand the intention behind their actions. All we need to know is there is an intention behind every action. Bearing this in mind, we can still understand the intention behind these behaviours and offer alternative behaviours. This NLP presupposition is not meant to condone sinful acts or heinous crimes committed by evil people.
Whether an action is good or bad, a person's behaviour has a positive intention. We must neither condone nor condemn the bad actions. Resolve by substituting the bad behaviours with positive ones which achieve the same positive intention. When a person is given a better choice of behaviour with positive intention, they will accept it.