Communicating with a Contemplator About Personal Needs


icon ContemplatorContemplators are used to seeing a problem, analyzing it, and solving it. They love focusing on details, and they value perfection and logic more than feelings. This can make it difficult to communicate with aging contemplators about their personal needs. While they’re focusing on details, they may miss larger issues. Their tendency to avoid emotions until they become unbearable can make personal problems more difficult, especially in the short term. As a caregiver and loved one, you can communicate in ways that help your contemplator refocus their attention outward and deal with emotions in a healthy and appropriate way.

While it can be difficult for someone who’s used to being the caregiver to accept care, and for a perfectionist to come to grips with their own need for help, good communication can help you help your contemplator navigate changing personal needs and difficult situations.

Discussing Personal Concerns with a Contemplator

When you’re dealing with a contemplator, it can be difficult to get a good sense of what’s going on inside their head. However, most personal concerns fall under these broad categories.

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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 Helps Contemplators Meet Their Personal Needs

Highly-focused contemplators can be great at meeting very specific personal needs, but they can miss out on big picture problems and opportunities. Meanwhile, their desire for perfection can exhaust or disappoint them if it isn’t tempered by realistic expectations for themselves and their situations. Using communication strategies tailored to your contemplator’s communication style and focus can make it easier to make sure that they’re meeting their personal needs and getting appropriate levels of assistance where necessary.