The Scottish Mail on Sunday

Adjust your speech to reflect the way your loved one thinks


WE ALL use pictures (visual), sounds and words (auditory), and feelings (kinaesthet­ic) to think, but most of us favour one mode of communicat­ion and thinking.

If you can work out how your partner thinks, you can improve the way you communicat­e with them.

Visual people will say things like ‘I see what you mean’, or ‘The future looks good’.

They like to see things with their own eyes and would rather see evidence than hear arguments.

When talking to a visual person, I might refer to ‘the big picture’ or ‘bringing things into focus’, and I might use diagrams or pictures to explain complicate­d ideas

People with an auditory preference say things like ‘That sounds good to me’, or ‘That rings a bell’.

So when expressing agreement with them I might say something like ‘We are singing from the same hymn sheet’ and be careful about the tone of voice I use with them.

Those with a kinaesthet­ic preference will say ‘Let’s touch upon this’, or ‘That feels good’. If someone said ‘I find your ideas hard to grasp’, I would reply with

‘Let me give you some concrete examples’.

Tapping in to how people think and moderating your language accordingl­y can hugely improve communicat­ion.

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