Information and Communication

The right word at the right time
    is like a custom-made piece of jewelry                                                                                              Proverbs 25:11 (The Message)

I had the opportunity the other day to talk with one of my “couples clients” about the difference between communication and information. Sometimes we interchange these two concepts, and understandably so. Yet, there is a difference between the two activities.

Sometimes in a relationship, partners who have been together for a long time (even some not so long) can fall into just exchanging information, but not really communicating. The example I gave to my clients was this…

“I am going to the dentist tomorrow, so make sure to pick up the kids from school”. That is good information, and probably necessary and important. However, communication might be …

“I have a dentist appointment tomorrow and I’m not looking forward to it. They may need to do a crown, and that is so uncomfortable sometimes. Besides, that might be a chunk of money…”

This is a pretty mundane example, but it expresses the difference. In the first instance, information was shared, but not much more. The second instance conveyed some deeper concerns about the dentist visit, and it opens up an opportunity for more engagement.

Sometimes, simple little things make all the difference in communication. For the couple that I explained this to, the wife was nodding her head in agreement. She truly wants this type of communication exchange, mundane as it may be, and not simply information. The husband was a bit confused by how this made much difference. For him, simple information was enough. This gave us a chance to explore a bit further about perceptions of how each communicates.

Again, simple stuff, but it deserves our attention, and it can make a difference.

Prayer: Lord, help us to be sensitive to the gift of communication, and the difference it makes in relationships, Amen

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