The Inverse Meta Model language patterns are used to describe experience in vague terms.

The Inverse Meta Model language patterns can be broken into three distinct classes:

  • Deleting Information,
  • Semantic Ill-Formedness
  • Limits of the Speaker’s Model

Deleting Information

Where information is deleted, the listener must fill in the deleted information from their own unique experience.

Simply labels for abstract concepts. Often verbs used as nouns. They are not tangible: they cannot be touched, felt or heard. You cannot place them in a wheelbarrow!

Hope, freedom, trust, communication, conformity, needs, sanity, tolerance, love, health, confidence, possibilities, determination, resolve, solutions, beliefs, choices, human values, confidence, optimism, strength, enjoyment, unconscious, nurturing, etc.

Unspecified (Vague) Verbs:
Verbs which are, by nature, vague. Verbs where the listener must supply the meaning in order to understand the sentence.

Changing, learning, appreciating, considering, noticing, discovering, finding, etc.

Example: “I want you to learn.” I am not explaining what I want you to learn, or how I want you to learn it.

Verbs used in conjunction with an abstract concept become vague:

Example: Run through your mind, lift your spirits, hold that through, kick it into touch, etc.
Example: “Run it through your mind for a moment.” How do you run it through your mind, really?

Lack of Referential Index:
A sentence where the ‘what’ or ‘who’ is missing.

It, they, he, she etc.

Example: “They say it’s never too late.”
Example: “Things are getting better.”
Example: “Things evolve over time.”
Example: “You can change things for the better.”
Example: “That is a useful way of looking at it.”

Simple Deletion:
Where the meaning of the sentence has to be assumed because an important fact or facts are missing.

It is, they are, they say, they know, people find, this makes you, that’s good, it’s fine, etc.

Example: “It is easy for you to understand.”
Example: “They say people find this relaxing.”

Comparative Deletion:
A comparison made without stating what the comparison is actually made to.

More than, greater than, less than, easier than, etc.

Example: “It is better this way.”
Example: “You are more intelligent than that.”
Example: “You’ll feel safer.”
Example: “You can heal more quickly.”
Example: “It will take so much less effort to do more.”

Semantic Ill-Formedness

Ill-formed semantics cause the precise basis for the statement to be lost, meaning the listener must assume the basis for themselves.

A cause-effect relationship between a stimulus or force, and something that has occurred or can occur. These can be simply joining two statements together using the word ‘and’ (a conjunction), a stated cause & effect using time, and a stated cause & effect using equivalence (“this equals that simply because I say so”).

Linkages using conjunctions.
Example: “You are listening to the sound of my voice and you are beginning to relax.”
Example: “You are at a new stage in your business development and it is all very exciting.”

Linkages using time.
Example: “Relaxing deeply means you will later remember everything…”
Example: “As you consider your options, the future will become clearer.”

Complex Equivalents:
Stating “this means that” without substantiating why.
Means, equals, is the same as, is similar to, is like, etc.

Example: “Relaxing deeply means you are making greater changes.”
Example: “Buying now allows you to save money in the long run.”

Cause Effect:
Stating “this causes that” without substantiating why.
Makes, forces, brings about, develops, increases, lets, etc.

Example: “Relaxing deeply means you are making greater changes.”
Example: “Buying now allows you to save money in the long run.”

All of these linkages are most effective when stating something that is already occurring, and linking it to something the communicator wants to occur.

Mind Reading:
Assuming you know what a person thinks or feels.

You can, you will, you may, I know, I can tell, you are thinking, etc.

Example: “I know you will find this easy.”
Example: “You find this to be relaxing.”
Example: “Your mind often wanders.”
Example: “You have suffered in the past.”
Example: “You have been thinking about this.”
Example: “It is time for change.”

Mind reading must be in general terms: saying something too specific will break rapport and cause a loss of credibility. Use mind reading in conjunction with nominalizations:

Example: “Sometimes you have felt misunderstood.”

This way you’re ‘mind reading’ is open to interpretation.

Lost Performative:
Where, when making a judgement, the reason for the judgement is lost leaving an unsubstantiated claim.

<something> is <something>, etc.

Example: “It is good to talk.”
Example: “It’s rude to place your elbows on the table.”
Example: “It’s okay to make these changes now.”
Example: “The future is bright.”

These are effective ways of delivering presuppositions, without alerting a person to the fact that you are presupposing.

Limits to the Speaker’s Model

When used, these patterns induce trance and other outcomes by restricting the experience of the listener.

Universal Quantifiers.
Over-generalizations, which, by their nature, do not exclude.

Everyone, people, all, always, each, every, many, etc.

Example: “Everyone sees this as great value for money.”
Example: “And now you can go all the way into trance.”

Vague Nouns:
A class of Universal Quantifiers; generalized categories of people or objects.

Teachers, pilots, men, women, children, hypnotists, Asians, computers, cars etc.

Example: “Women can multitask better than men.”
Example: “Modern cars are more reliable.”

Modal Operators of Necessity:
Pointing out what is necessary. Doing so restricts choice.

You should, you must, you ought to, you need to, you will, it is essential that, it is imperative that, allow yourself to, you must realize, you have to, it is important that, you are, etc.

Example: “You should relax even further.”
Example: “You must consider yourself when making these changes.”
Example: “You ought to value yourself more, as a unique human being.”

Limiting Quantifiers.
A class of Modal Operators of Necessity that restricts choice through limitation.

Only, just, never, no one, few, none.

Example: “Just relax when ready.”
Example: “Only relax at a speed which is comfortable for you.”

Modal Operators of Possibility:
Pointing out what is possible. Doing so restricts choice.

You can, you may, you might, it is possible that, it could, you could, you may like to, you may be, the chances are, it is appropriate to, you are able, etc.

Example: “You can make changes easily.”
Example: “You may find yourself relaxing even further.”
Example: “You might wonder if you can become more relaxed.

The Inverse Meta Model are a set of patterns used to describe experience in vague terms where the Meta Model is a series of language patterns used to elicit more detail.