Generalizations (Meta-Model)

Generalizations happen when someone translates some experiences into a rule that applies to all similar experiences. Bigotry is an example we gave earlier. Sometimes generalizations can go by without being noticed.

If someone says, “Everybody at the party hated me!” you might ask, “Who else did they hate?”

If she says, “Everyone had friends there, they just were mean to me,” you know she is unaware of anyone else feeling uncomfortable there.

If you asked, “Oh, so they were sorry to see you arrive and glad to see you go,” she might start thinking of exceptions and reveal one, even though she seems to be attached to the idea that everyone hated her. This means that her poor syntax just opened up to a more accurate internal map, that is, she realized that there were exceptions to her generalization. Now she has a resource: the knowledge that there are people that appreciate her.