As we think about the world around us we do so using pictures, sounds, feelings, tastes and smells, and in NLP these are referred to as the representational systems. As we grow up we tend to unconsciously develop a preference for one of these senses, which is called our primary system. This may be due to spending a lot of time with music, or images, or in sport or dance, for example.

We unconsciously indicate which representational system we are using at any time by the words that we use. For example, what system would be indicated by:

  • ‘I like the sound of that’

  • ‘I don’t trust their offer, it smells like a trap’

  • ‘The future is looking brighter’

  • ‘Nothing beats the taste of success’

  • ‘Run that by ...

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