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Taken from Your Family, God’s Way: Developing and Sustaining Relationships in the Home by Wayne A. Mack.
Here is a recipe for a communication disaster — four ingredients:
1. Excessive Negative Talk
“Some people constantly complain and find fault. They seldom affirm or talk about positive virtues of other people. They rarely acknowledge the good things happening in the world or in the church or in their family. They are experts at excessive negative talk. The gloom and doom that pours from the mouths of these people fosters a depressing atmosphere in the family.”
2. Excessive Heavyweight Speech
“Some people …want to turn every conversation into a discussion of deep … problems, weighty subjects, and ultimate concerns.”
3. Lethal Exaggeration
“Exaggeration is a more subtle, but equally lethal form of lying. It occurs when we blow things out of proportion. Sometimes we exaggerate about a person’s behavior…Sometimes we exaggerate concerning our own conduct….Exaggeration encourages people to become defensive or suspicious of the speaker. Although intended to get the listener’s attention, exaggeration usually fosters disbelief or disregard for what is said….The listener begins to feel abused and mistreated, having lost confidence in the speaker and his words….”
“Misrepresentation, a close cousin to exaggeration, is part of the falsehood family. Perhaps there is no more common form of lying than when the facts about a person and his behavior are rearranged. The truth is so twisted and distorted by additions or omissions or slanting of facts that the result bears little resemblance to reality.