Complex equivalences involve constructing beliefs out of generalizations. It is making two experiences equal. For instance, I may believe that someone not making eye contact means they have something to hide. They are sometimes pretty weak links.
Uncovering the things we’ve made equal can be freeing. I had a client who decided her colleagues at work had no respect for her because they didn’t invite her to lunch. Her equivalence of respect and being included alienated her from people generally and became a self fulfilling prophecy.
- “I got the contract, my problems are over”
- If you aren’t wealthy by the time you are 30, you never will be
- I don’t have a thick enough skin to be a successful salesperson
- “He didn’t smile at me, he hates me”
- “I didn’t get the job, they don’t respect women”
- “He mowed the lawn, he is finally being responsible”
In a way, these are similar to cause effects in that they show someone’s model. The Meta Model recovery questions are to uncover the link between the two things.
- “How does the contract solve your problems?”
- “How specifically is age related to wealth?”
- “So, are all thick skinned people good at selling? Do all good salespeople have thick skins?”
- “How is smiling related to hating?”
- “If they respected women would they have given you the job?”
- “How does being responsible have anything to do with lawn mowing?”