Sunday, 4 January 2009

Are you and your partner Auditory, Visual or Kinesthetic?

While I was reading to improve on my communication, I learn that I need to recognize which senses other people rely on to experience the world and then I need to use this information to deal with them.

It seems like people can be categorized into 3 types, depending on how they filter their world by their senses. They can be:

1) Visual – They see the world; inspired by what they see externally, or internally in their eyes as an image or a vision.

2) Auditory – They hear the world; inspired by something they hear either externally or emanating from that little voice inside.

3) Kinesthetic – They feel the world; inspired by something they feel or touch.

Usually, combinations of these 3 senses are used, but for each people, one of these tends to dominate the other two. If we want to relate better to people, win their hearts, impress them or just to make them understand us more, recognizing Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic people based on their primary senses and communicating to them on their wavelength can be very invaluable.

As with every couple, Jeffrey and I have our fair shares of miscommunications and misunderstanding. So, when I read about the 3 different senses, I went “Wow !! This can be a lifesaver”. Lo and behold, I am Visual while Jeffrey is Auditory. To make it clear to you, these are how we usually communicate:

Jeffrey:
Listen to me.
You are not listening.
I do not hear you.

What I am saying is ….

I like to play my music loud.
You need to speak up. I cannot hear you.

Anything you want to say to me?


Me:
I do not see what you mean.
I cannot picture that.

I like daydreaming.

You need to write that down for me.

I print that out for you to read.


Isn’t it obvious? Mind you, it is not until I understand about the 3 types of senses and how these sensory preferences impact our day-to-day communication. When Jeffrey asked me “Can you hear what I said?”; the truth is I cannot, at least not at the beginning. It is because since it is auditory, my brain has to take the extra step to translate his language into something I can relate to. If he say “Do you see what I mean?”, it will register immediately.

Conversely, I usually say “I am trying to see that” when he is talking to me and sometimes I look away from him because I am trying to picture the things he is saying in my head or I am trying to refer to the materials on screen/printed materials that he is talking about. I bet he thinks I am rude because I am looking away when he is talking or looking distantly (when I am trying to picture things in my head, my eyes will sort of look up and away from the speaker). The fact is I am just opposite from him in our primary senses. But I know now that if I want to connect directly to his sensibilities, I should say “I am listening.” Or “I hear what you said.”

These seem so simple to apply, yet extraordinarily effective. Try it on your partner. A quick tip:
Visuals usually talk very fast.
Kinesthetics tend to talk slowly.
Auditories fall somewhere in between.


So, Jeffrey and I are opposite each other in our chart, because we are both secondary in kinesthetic as we tell how we feel about things, but auditory is last on my senses while visual is last on his. It is also important that we bond in the middle; the kinesthetic; that always get us through the rough times and add sparkle to the good times. So, we can really understand each other when we discuss on we feel about things in our life. The good news for us is that in one of the research, relationships that have endured more than 20 years have sensory preferences that are complete opposite.

I guess that is why people always say “The opposite attracts”.