Poetry and personal blog – Spilling my guts to strangers

Seeing, Hearing, Feeling

We receive so much information on various topics during the course of a lifetime, sometimes it’s hard to keep up with it, or at least that’s the case with me. I don’t know how many times I say, “I heard that …” or “They say that …” but I have no idea where I heard it or who ”They” are. Most of the time, the Internet helps me out with that dilemma.

Recently I was thinking about something I heard in one class or another quite a few years ago. There was a field of study based in part on the idea that word choice matters and that the words people use reveal how they perceive the world. So I decided to look this up to see whether I really heard this thing once upon a time or whether it was a figment of my imagination.

To my surprise, a Google search returned results for Neuro-Linguistic Programming, which is an approach to psychological counseling, but has also been adapted for the fields of business management and self help.

As per Wikipedia, there is some controversy as to whether this approach has any scientific merit, and though my search was by no means exhaustive, respectable literature on the subject seems to be scant. The part of it I was taught is just a small piece of the larger picture, but from what I remember and what I can piece together from the Web, people can roughly be categorized as perceiving the world in three different ways:

Visual People process the world mainly through sight and express themselves in visual terms. For example, when agreeing with you, they are more likely to say, “I can see that,” rather than saying, “I hear you.” In everyday conversation, I tend to fall into the visual category. Other common phrases and words you may hear from a visual person are as follows:

can you picture that
can you imagine that
looks good to me
I get the picture

Auditory People are those who experience the world through hearing. Common phrases and words are:

talk over
tune in
it rings a bell
that clicks

Finally, Kinesthetic People rely on touch or physicality to make sense of the world. Common words and phrases:

walk through
pass over
touch upon
get a hold of
touch upon
It feels right to me
I can’t grasp the point
I catch your drift

I’ve heard tell that in order to make friends quickly or to strengthen existing bonds, listen to the words a person is saying as noted above and when you talk to them, mirror them by using similar words.

So, that’s what I heard. I’m sure there’s more to it but that’s pretty much all I know. Now that I got that off my chest, I’ll just … vaguely … trail off …

© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2010


Comments on: "Seeing, Hearing, Feeling" (5)

  1. First of all hope you had a really lovely and peaceful non-Christmas celebration. I loved the way you presented this post, because you presented it as what you had researched rather than The Truth. Sharing knowledge is great, but also not necessarily the end of thinking. It is really refreshing to read an intelligent blog! Sorry I sound a bit pompous, I don’t think I am really but just get excited by exploratory writing! I’ve RSSed you so look forward to learning more.

    • Thanks, I’m having fun, getting rest, AND getting some work done during my time off so I couldn’t ask for more. Thanks for the thumbs up. I don’t know everything, if I even know anything. I, too, like to learn and don’t want to cut myself off from possibility.

  2. Love this post Sweepy! Now I’m trying to figure out where I fall in the information. I have seen a lot of all three in my own writing. Love’n your blog as always!

  3. This is so interesting! Years ago I read a book on how to catch the man of your dreams, and I’ll never forget the suggestion the author made to observe the guy and mirror him in gestures and mannerisms to attract his attention. (I never tried this; guess that’s why I haven’t found the man of my dreams, ha.) I think I am more auditory than the other categories, but I’m not sure — fun to think about.

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