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4 improper communication patterns

Fathers play an important role in the lives of our children yet many of us display improper communication patterns in our daily lives. I attended a talk by Dr David Eckman and he shared the following four improper communication patterns.

The Blamer

The Blamer lives in a world where hurt and blame form the surrounding atmosphere. They usually carry a deep hurt, unresolved anger, an indifference to the feelings of the target of their wrath and even a surprise over God’s willingness to deal in mercy and pity. This is a picture of Jonah who said that he did not want to live in a world where God demonstrate grace and mercy to Assyrians of Ninevah. Jonah was carrying a long time hatred towards them as a result of them hurting his people by their repeated invasion and atrocities. In Jonah’s world, somebody was always guilty.

But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips…Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
– Colossians 3:8, 12

People who do not know how to deal with their hurt tend to clothe themselves with anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language. To overcome this improper pattern, it’s key that we put off what’s not helpful while putting on what’s necessary.

The Placater

Both the Placater and Blamer are trying to sustain relationships by ineffective means: the Blamer by condemning the other so that the other will agree and relate on the Blamer’s terms and the Placater by appeasement and misinformation. Both are unhealthy. The Placater lives in a world of anxiety and they reduce their anxiety by telling others what they want to hear. The Placater does not say things objectively and we often do not hear what the Placater really thinks.

A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin.
– Proverbs 22:28

As Proverbs remind us, it is the truth that will set us free. It is truth that will work and prevail. For the Placater, truth is key.

The Rationaliser

This individual will be out of touch with himself or herself and with others. Emotionally they are drifting further away from their relationships. Take the example of doubting Thomas in the Bible. He was discouraged by the Christ’s death ad he tried to cover his hurt by demanding proof of the Christ’s resurrection. The Rationaliser retreats from people, gives up on trust and stay relationally aloof so as not to be hurt again.

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
– John 20:27

While it almost sound like a contradiction, the solution is to take a step of faith and trust.

The Distracter

The Distracter is someone who has too much inward pain so they try to fend off others by aimless chatter and rationalistic questions. Shame tends to be their driving emotions. Remember the woman at the well in the Book of John. She was suspicious of Jesus and experienced hurt in her life. When the subject of her marriage was brought up, she tried to distract Jesus by changing the subject and even attempted a religious discussion. She had all the symptoms of someone from a dysfunctional family – she did not trust, feel or communicate.

“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.
– John 4:23

The solution is to be reparented by God the Father.

Today, if you find yourself fitting into one of these improper communication patterns, it’s time for you to make a change and secure your future. Communication is vital to sustaining any relationship and when there are blockages to communication, it affects the quality of our relationships, therefore take time to iron out your communication.

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