I came from a family of over communicators. We were loud, often curt and said exactly what was on our mind, regardless of whether it was necessary.
That’s the way we rolled.
I’ve spent most of my adult life unlearning the effusive speech of my youth. Although I feel like I’ve made great strides, I’ve realized my over communication stimulation has indeed trickled down to the next generation.
Yesterday my youngest (adult) son passed me on the stairs and asked,
“Mom have you been outside?”
Thinking he noticed the glow in my face, and now feeling pretty, I said,
“Yes. Why, do I look like I’ve gotten some sun?”
He answered in a frank, matter-of-fact tone.
“No. You just stink.”
Lovely, I thought. I’ve taught him well.
In his defense, I had a friend coming over to help me with a project and (I think) that was the reason for giving me the 4-1-1.
One can get into some sticky situations when one talks too much.
Generally my friendship comes with this disclaimer:
Please know that I love you and don’t be offended because I’m not trying to but I will mess up. Promise.
It’s not a cop-out, it’s a reality. It’s a part of the working out of my salvation.
In essence, God is working on me.
On the flip side of over communicating is under communicating and it can be every bit as dangerous.
I can’t fix what I don’t know.
Have you ever had that situation where you were close to someone and then one day out of the blue, they became aloof. Maybe they stopped making plans with you, stopped taking your phones calls. You approach them and ask why and they don’t have an answer.
Yeah, me too.
Another communication situation.
And well, I found myself there last week. A miscommunication with someone close. It was painful all the way around.
What I have found is, communication for the believer is more than a dictionary definition. More than the articulation of words, or lack there of.
Communication is an art as well as a discipline.
It’s not completely about talking or not talking. And it’s not only about listening or not listening.
It’s about understanding.
It’s about caring.
It’s about investing.
It’s about knowing.
It’s about learning where a person’s buttons are and making every effort not to push them. Just the same as we don’t want out triggers tripped.
And we all have them. Buttons. Triggers. Preconceived notions created from past wounds or unhealthy examples.
They cause us to hear what is not said and not express what we are screaming inside hoping someone will comprehend.
Because what we hear is not always what was said, we should learn to listen with our hearts as well as our ears.
The Bible says, “Let your conversation be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:6
Grace is allowing for someone else’s differences. Taking time to understand where they are coming from.
Seasoned with salt, is adjusting our speech according to the other person’s needs. Giving encouraging words that lift them to a better place.
Granted, some people won’t let you in and you may never know what they really need. In which case you ask the Father who knows all things. In due time, His time, He will direct you.
Because, God is always working things out for our good even when they don’t look good.
It’s all part of the journey.
May your communication situations be few and far between my friends.
Looking forward, pressing on, and seeking God in every bump and twist in the road.