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The loneliness of the long distance student

"I think one of my favourite feelings is laughing with someone and realizing halfway through how much you enjoy them and their existence"

Have you ever felt lonely or isolated when you were studying? Even in NLP trainings?


I still have the (healed) scars from my worst study time. I love what I learned – but the human cost was high. And it’s a remarkably common experience, it turns out.


Most NLP trainings have some percentage of solo study. Way back in 2005 my ‘pre-work’ was listening to endless hours of audio. I’m more a visual girl, but hey, flexibility and all that – but oh, for three long months I longed for interaction with a like mind. Then something wonderful happened.


I was living in Johannesburg, and the 7-day intensive in-the-room training was being held in Cape Town – about 1400km away. Out of the blue, my trainer called me and asked if I would be interested in sharing travel and accommodation with another student. Would I indeed!

The whole experience changed.


Lindi and I never became great friends, but we talked endlessly and shared insights and we laughed and laughed. I still remember her with gratitude (and her friend’s house overlooking False Bay where we stayed).


Nowadays I look at our NLP students who are studying online, and I see many isolated people using a technology that was DESIGNED FOR CONNECTION without connecting.

Of all the things you can study, NLP is most tuned to the human element.

No matter where we are right now, we can do better by our students.

Let’s look at a simple 2005 action of connecting me and Lindi for purely practical purposes, and notice the difference that makes the difference.