Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Monday, May 7, 2012

TMI: When We Say Too Much

One of our staff members is doing a search for another associate and received the usual resumes for the job. However, one this week stood out. It was in a three-ring binder and included copies of emails, notes, initiatives, articles and who knows what else that this person had written or compiled in the workplace!

Is it any wonder he was looking for work?

When it comes to applying for a job, more is rarely better. And the same is true in relationships and communication. Less is usually more. Where do we have a tendency to simply say to much?

In our questioning.  We are upset with a spouse or child and so rather than just focus on what seems to be the most important issue, we pepper the other person with all sorts of concerns. Why were you late getting home? Were you talking to her again? Have you done your homework? Why are you so moody lately? 

Stick with the here and now, the main issue. Anything else is likely too much.

In our answers. In the same way when someone needs more from us especially about something we may have erred on or handled poorly, we can start making a pile of defenses hoping we can explain ourselves away. But it's usually not that involved. And even if the situation is a bit complicated it still helps to say something like, You know, things got pretty messy in my world, but the main thing here is that I blew it and didn't communicate well. I'm sorry

In our comfort. Often another person is going through a hardship and we very much want to fix their problem or make things better. So what do we do?  We start throwing out myriad options. Well, why don't you . . .  you know, if you just tried this . . . when that happened to me I . . . . We're not going to be help but just overwhelm them. Keep it simple. Maybe just listen.

In our praise. It would be easy to think that we can never compliment or encourage our spouse, kids, friends or coworkers enough but in reality we can overdo it. Children, for example, don't need to be told they are wonderful every time they do something. Or people don't need to be talked out of their difficult emotions through us telling them how awesome they are and that people just don't know it yet.

When we do that we're really disavowing their emotions and telling them there is something wrong with them for thinking that way. Or with our children we can give them the impression that life will always tell them they are terrific.

So, by all means, communicate as well as you can with those you love. Learn to do it better. Just don't send them any three-ring binders.
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.


  1. It's refreshing to find such fundamental, practical and helpful relational tips for families. Thank you.
    Paul Coleman

  2. Thanks for your kind words and encouragement!