Let’s have some fun! Communication is challenging whether in marriage, with our children, with our co-workers, or with nationals. But sometimes improvement comes when we step back and look at it from a different angle.
My husband came up with the idea of using animals as pictures of human communication. Take a look at these and see if you can identify yourself or someone else you are trying to communicate with. Note that we sometimes act like different animals in different situations. Puppies can become clams if they are intimidated.
Have fun with the animals, and no fighting or self-condemnation, please.Clam
Hardly ever speaks, and doesn’t seem to listen, either. People who know them wish they would open up, and some even try to force them open. That never works.
Happy, energetic, but sometimes can’t stop yapping. Particularly irritating late at night.
Lots of growling. Listens quietly, but is always waiting for the opportunity to strike. Makes other people feel it’s only a matter of time until they will . . . be . . . eaten.
“But! But!” Always finds an exception for every statement. People tire of trying to communicate because they get tired of being “butted.” Most common in overly analytical thinkers. Tendency to frequently interrupt.
Squeaky little statements. Too quiet too much of the time. Self-protection is of the greatest importance. Found mostly in women, but when seen in a man is particularly sad. Especially intimidated by tigers . . . but then, who isn’t?
Ever heard the expression “Busy as a Beaver?” That’s the picture. Always too busy to talk. Always another tree to chomp through; always another stream to dam up.
Training the animals
All of us have natural communication styles, but sometimes those styles are not the best for our relationships. God’s Spirit in us can open the clam, calm the puppy, tame the tiger, civilize the goat, make the mouse more confident, and slow that beaver down. You really need to let him do it. Then you’ll find your blend, a blend that will keep your communication open all the time.
Don’t be afraid to change when it is God who is bringing the change. His changes are always for our best. “It is God who is working in you, both to will and to do what pleases him.” Phil. 2:13
“Tame us, train us, Father, I pray. Help us to allow you to make us better, more effective communicators.”