Compared to what?


“When I hear somebody sigh, ‘Life is hard,’ I am always tempted to ask, ‘Compared to what?’” – Sydney J Harris

Sydney J Harris is an American Journalist and Author, who wrote a syndicated column, Strictly Personal, from 1944-86.

In NLP, within the Meta Model (part of Communication), this pattern (eg. ‘Life is hard’) is also noted, and it is called a Comparative Deletion. Sydney’s response ‘Compared to what?’ is one of the ways we can retrieve more information or understanding about this person’s model of the world.

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