Les and Leslie Parrot discuss in one of their books, “Love Talk”, how personality plays a major role in the way we communicate. If you would like to find out more about their ministry and other books they’ve written, you can visit their website at www.realrelationships.com. You can also take the test to determine your personality type on the site. It costs a small fee, but if you buy the book, it comes with a code for you to take the test free of charge.
Rick and I are currently doing their “Love Talk” series in our marriage class. I highly recommend reading the book if you’d like to figure out what makes you and your spouse communicate the way you do.
The Parrots break down communication, according to personality, into four areas that influence how we think, react, and communicate. The acronym “TALQ” stands for those areas. T stands for time, A for approval, L for loyalty, and Q for quality.
In order to figure out what area you function in, you first determine your personal fear factor. What do you fear losing that is of deep value to you (emotionally)? What makes you feel most emotionally safe?
For some, the answer to that question is time. “T” stands for time. Time oriented people do everything according to their watch. They fear wasting time and find it necessary to arrive at an event or appointment at least 10 minutes prior to the chosen time. They complete every project in a timely matter, more often though in a hurried manner, sometimes jeopardizing quality results.
Their conversations and modes of communication are based on “How will that effect my time?”, or “Does it fit into my schedule?”
If Rick and I are going somewhere, he doesn’t even have to SAY anything to me anymore. I can tell by the look on his face when I’m pushing the envelope to his time comfort level. (I still react to that look sometimes.)
When the clock passes the point that Rick and I should leave to be 15 minutes early and we’re still at home, anxiety paralyzes his thinking. I hate to arrive late anywhere, but I don't want to show up 15 minutes early either.
If Rick chooses to say something to me at this point, his message will undoubtedly be laced with sharp words that unconsciously accuse me of causing this inexcusable delay. He has finally learned, after all these years, to keep his mouth quiet. I have learned not to test the limits.
Living with a time conscious person can drive a non-time conscious person crazy! (I know from experience.) As God would have it (this is where His sense of humor comes in), He always seems to match one with the other.
Becoming aware of the deep importance of time to a “time” person is half the battle in figuring out the best way to communicate with them.