Communicating with a Contemplator About Health Issues


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Contemplators can have a love-hate relationship with health care and health issues. On the one hand, these discussions feed into their love of facts, details, and problems to solve. A contemplator is likely to be able to tell you her exact blood counts, blood pressures, and other important ‘health numbers.’ She probably knows precisely what diet and exercise suggestions the doctor has recommended, and she will plan to stick to them rigidly.

On the other hand, when he fails to live up to the health standards he’s set for himself, a contemplator may fall into despair and be tempted to give up altogether. He may also spend so much time focusing on his health issues that he begins to worry. Sometimes, planning for the worst-case scenario can border on hypochondria.

When you communicate with a contemplator about health care issues, you need to balance their need for facts and problems to solve with a focus on the big picture and realistic goals. Effective communication will help both of you reach a better understanding of the health issues your contemplator is facing, and will lead to more affirming, productive conversations.

Discussing Health Concerns with a Contemplator

A contemplator excels at drawing out what makes their individual situation unique. However, there are certain health situations that many people encounter as they age. The categories below encompass many of them.

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General Tips for Communicating with a Contemplator

  • Lay out problems in a detailed and orderly manner.
  • Be truthful and forthright in your conversations.
  • Give breathing space before you expect a response.
  • Ask them what they’re thinking and feeling.
  • Show empathy when they share concerns and worries.  
  • Try to bring a big-picture view to the discussion.
  • Use humor to bring them out of themselves and their worries.
  • Speak in ways that show your appreciation and affirmation.

Better Communication Means Better Health for Contemplators

When it comes to health issues, a contemplator’s greatest strength—attention to detail—can also be their greatest weakness. As a caregiver or loved one, it’s important to help your contemplator express emotion, look at the big picture, and address fears head-on. Health issues are stressful for everyone, but with considerate communication skills, you can help your contemplator navigate them and live a longer, healthier life.