Representation Systems - NLP

Representation Systems

NLP representational systems

If we understand that we all experience the world differently through our various filters and maps of reality wouldn’t it be great if we could learn these maps of others and ourselves by learning to read them?

After all, if we could read and understand our own maps and those of others we could perhaps redirect them to more favourable outcomes.

Well, the great news is we can learn these maps. If we think about thinking, yes I know how that sounds, but if we consider how we think and how we figure out the world and our experiences on a conscious level it's in words. Would it be too far a stretch to imagine then that one of the keys to understanding our thought processing and our programming might be the words we use to describe the world, our feelings and thoughts?

In fact, we can go one step further if we consider how our thoughts can lead to us having a feeling or emotion, positive or negative. We can understand how our emotions can affect our physiology, because of the chemicals that are sent through or neurological system, we can then see how compelling and insightful it can be to understand the language of our neurology and psychology.

In NLP the representational systems are known as VAKOG and these in part help us by giving us tool that we can use to gain an insight into our own and other people map.

VAKOG stands for:

Visual - sight, image, colour, brightness, darkness

Auditory – sound, noise, loud, quiet, soft tone, deep

Kinaesthetic – Feeling, touch, wam, hotm cold, heavy, rough

Olfactory – Smell, scent, odour

Gustatory – taste, bitter, sweet

If you ever hear someone say that they are a very visual person, then they have probably read some NLP or something similar, and quite often their not.

There are sublevels of these, but for ease, this is the top level representational system.

These affect the way we take in information, how we process it through thought and then how we express ourselves. The important rule to remember that a person is not one or the other, so not just a visual person for example, but we are all a mixture of these representational systems.

We tend to favour one system or another, and we quite often use the language we favour for the things in life we like and enjoy, and the language that we favour less for the things that oppose our world view, or we do not like.

Our own internal processing

If we listen carefully to our own internal voice, we can soon start to see patterns in the way we talk to ourselves about the things we do and do not like. A way of reframing our view of the world would be to change our language around it to one we favour, if it something we want, or language we disfavour, for something we want to avoid or stop doing.

Understanding others

The way other communicate with us when they speak can, if we listen carefully, give us an idea of their representational system and view of the world. So if we want to elicit a change in them we can look at reframing their viewpoint by changing the words they use or by talking to them in the language which fits their world view, their map of reality and their representational system.

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