Internal Processor Communication Style
- Needs time and space to process emotions, and “digest” thoughts.
- Difficulty identifying and articulating thoughts and feelings
- Becomes anxious if pursued to resolve conflict quickly, or is rushed or the other person becomes upset-dislikes and avoids conflict.
- Needs encouragement to come back and enter into discussion following alone time.
- Deliberate, methodical communication.
Internal processors have to think things through before they are in touch with their feelings and ready to talk. They are usually deliberate and methodical in their choice of words, taking longer to express themselves. The internal process or should push himself or herself to think the situation through and return to the partner for resolution and closure.
This communication is characterized by thoughts and emotions being processed internally. There is a vulnerability to be conflict adverse-push against that and remain engaged in conversation. Verbally this communication style is usually deliberate and methodical, words are carefully chosen.
There is not a right or a wrong, your communication style is how you are wired. The goal is to choose growth, be flexible and develop rich communication whether you are an internal or an external processor.
Knowing your communication style helps to prevent having your button pushed;
External Processor Communication Style
- Can identify thoughts and feelings right away.
- Difficulty sitting with thoughts and feelings.
- Becomes very anxious if the other person is not available/willing to “fix it” right away-Dislikes conflict but believes it is worth it to reach resolution and relief.
- Has difficulty waiting and allowing the other processing time.
- Is challenged by trying to listen and not interrupt.
- Spontaneous, free-flow conversation.
External processors are usually spontaneous and sometimes impulsive. Words come easily, they prefer to talk through their problems. They may have a very hard time if his/her partner is not available to talk things through soon enough.
This communication style is verbal, the spoken word comes easily to these individuals. Issues are addressed, and solutions are sought after. There is a vulnerability to interrupting….and failing to be a good listener due to emotional intensity. Choose a shift to pace yourself, listen and allow silences. Don’t pressure the other person, allow individuality and you will excel in personal growth.
As I work with my couples who are struggling with conflict, we often discover it is not the topic of the conversation that is causing the conflict. The problem is actually each person resisting the communication style of their partner. If the external processor pushes the internal to communicate the way he/she does, there will be conflict. If the internal processor expects the external to think things through, take time and be calm the problems will increase. The key with communication style is to embrace the difference. Follow the steps listed above and arguments will decrease, I promise. Be humble, focus on your own change.
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