Ever notice how different you are from your partner? Ever sometimes feel like you are speaking a different language? Well, there is a very good chance you are doing exactly that!
According to NLP people predominantly use one of three representational systems. These representational systems are the way in which your partner predominantly sees, hears, feels and experiences the world.
Learning which representational systems you and your wife favour, is the no. 1 essential key which will give you the power and ability to meet each others’ core needs and create a happy lasting marriage.
The three main representational systems are Visual, Auditory, and Kinetic. What are the differences? Well, all of us at different times will use all three. But, there is one main representational system we all favour, or at least begin with, most of the time.
Listen to these descriptions and discover which style you and your partner favour
A Visual Person will see images in their head and then put words to the pictures. They will speak quickly, and will say things like, “I see what you mean,” or “I am just trying to clarify things.” Because they are trying to describe what they are seeing they don’t usually mind if they get a word or two wrong – what matters is that they can convey the images and you can picture what they’re saying. Visual People not surprisingly make excellent film makers.
If your partner is an Auditory Person, words are very important indeed. She will pay real attention to every word you say – and if you have a mutual agreement with her, it really is for her like you are making a contract. She will literally count on your word. And if you say something and let her down, she will take that very badly indeed. In Pink’s song Who Knew she uses the line “I took your words and believed everything you said.” This is very typical of an auditory person. And they can be so focused on the words they won’t feel the need to give you any eye contact at all. This can be absolutely infuriating if they are talking to a Visual Person who really needs you to look them in the eye. One very Visual wife I was working with would continually complain about her very Auditory husband, “He doesn’t even look at me when I’m speaking to him!” When he learned this was one of the things he needed to do to meet this need of his wife's’, their communication improved considerably.
The next way of processing is Kinetic. If your partner is a Kinetic Person she will first get the feeling in her body and then put words to it. When you ask her a question she may first slow down and take time to “tune in” to how she is feeling before anything else. Sometimes they even say, “I am just going to drop down into my body.” She will usually speak more slowly, and sometimes have long pauses in their speech – way longer than a Visual or Auditory person would.
Because words aren’t so important as feelings to a Kinetic Person, when they feel a feeling they can declare it and absolutely 100% mean it in the moment. Then when their feelings change, everything is gone out the window – and they will absolutely be in another state, which they will also declare with 100% congruency as being true in that moment.
This can be very confusing for an Auditory Person for whom words mean so much (ten days ago you said you loved me – and now you’re saying you hate me!) – or a Visual Person who has an image of the person or of moments in the relationship they hold dear and re-play in their minds consistently (just last week I remember us making love – and now I see us arguing and you look so angry!).
Notice these representational systems are also part of our attachment styles. People get more attached to us when we use their style, and we get more attached to people when they use our style. Understanding this can help us create strong bonds and help us to relate better to our partner – and our children, and actually most everyone else.
Understanding the changeability of a Kinetic Person, it isn’t that a Kinetic Person doesn’t mean what they are saying – it just means that as their feelings change the whole landscape of their heart changes and shifts – and that is what they base their experience of the world on. And it can be totally different from one moment to the next, and one day to the next.
A Kinetic Person will also expect others to mind-read their emotions and just know what they are feeling, without feeling the need to express themselves in words. This can also be very frustrating for the other person whichever modality they favour – so for a Kinetic Person to learn to use words as a communication bridge with their partner is essential to creating a good relationship.
When you have discovered which style you and your wife favour – Build a bridge
Once you have learned which representational systems your partner favours most of the time, it is essential you begin to meet her core needs in the ways she needs them to be met – and in good relationships this works vice-versa!
This usually is a profound learning experience for couples who work with me, who can begin to see where they have been going wrong in their relationship. How they have been trying to love their partner through their representational system, and through their core needs, rather than their partners’. And as couples discover this they also discover how they can put it right!
Want to Know How to Make Your Love Land With Your Partner?
For a Visual Person – Show
If your partner is a Visual Person she will need to be shown that you love her. She will need you to show them a good time. She will need to literally see that you love her. And you will need to use her language to really connect with her. You need to say things like “I see how beautiful you are and it touches my heart!” You open with her representational language – “I see how beautiful you are” and then add a kinetic feeling. Opening with her way of processing is like first unlocking her heart to the message you want to give.
For an Auditory Person – Tell
If you partner is an Auditory Person she needs you to tell her you love her. She needs to hear the words. If you show your love with flowers without using the words, the gift will not be nearly as powerful for an Auditory Person. Also when making love they will make noise and need to hear your pleasure to really receive you are “in” the experience with them. Otherwise they may not get what you are really feeling – and if they miss that, they are missing a lot.
This applies not just to making love with an Auditory bride of course but to every aspect of your relationship together. It doesn’t mean you exclude the flowers or watching sunsets together – it means you have to add the words to fill out the experience for your bride – because words and expressive sounds are what she needs most of all.
For a Kinetic Person – Create an Atmosphere
If your partner is a Kinetic Person things are very different. The feeling of a situation will be the most important thing to her. Because they judge by feelings and operate in a different way from a Visual or an Auditory Person, they can misread the true internal states of these different types of people. For example if a Kinetic Person says, “I’m feeling great!” they are liable to really be up in the clouds, with the feeling filling their whole body. In contrast if a Visual Person says “I’m feeling great!” they may be describing how they are seeing things without first going to that feeling in their body. Then a Kinetic Person may misread them and think that they are lying – which is not true: they are literally seeing the world differently.
For a Kinetic Person atmosphere is really important. So if your wife is Kinetic and you want to show you love her, a room full of candles and some flowers and really expressing caring in your whole physiology and demeanour as well as being tender with your words is what lands. They really do need to “get in the mood” for lovemaking. This is quite literally true for a Kinetic Person. Having high energy and being genuine is a real turn on for a Kinetic Person. And remember, intimacy for a woman begins the moment she wakes up in the morning, so how your whole day goes will contribute greatly to that surprise you may have planned!
Practice, Practice, Practice
So by discovering your partner’s needs and taking them seriously, combined with focusing on and using your partner’s representational style, over time and with practice, you can learn to meet their needs in the way they really need, make them feel truly loved, and create bonding experiences which continually keeps you coming back together.
And because in relationships we are a system, a team, it is always always best when this is reciprocal. So what I suggest if you are in a loving relationship is first of all committing to meeting your wife’s needs, and then inviting her to join you on a learning adventure in meeting yours’, so that together you can develop even richer experiences, as both of your personalities expand to experience both ways you experience the world, becoming an even closer and better team!
Then you would have used your differences to not only bring you together but to grow.
John is the Affairs Couple Counsellor and Relationship Coach couples seek out exclusively to heal and repair their relationship after the heartbreak of affairs.
Call John today on 0800 024 86 47 or +44 (0) 785 44 55 286