Communicating with a Narrator About Health Issues


icon Narrator

Strategic, people-pleasing, and attentive to detail, narrators can often be trusted to manage their health conditions well. They’re the people who get into the doctor at the first sign of infection, always remember to take their medicine, and plan refills in advance. They make and keep appointments on schedule, care for others as well as themselves, and follow doctor’s orders.

On the other hand, this history of competence can make it especially hard for narrators to deal with situations where their health seems to be spinning out of control. They’re unlikely to complain about side effects from drugs or poor treatment by providers, they’ll often persevere with a beloved doctor even if he’s no longer right for them, and they can feel betrayed by their body if health events conflict with their long-range planning. To help the narrators in your life deal with health concerns related to aging, you’ll need to be attentive to changes in their health status, aware of other stressors and commitments in their lives, and ready to advocate for them when their conflict-averse nature makes them poor self-advocates.

When you communicate with a narrator about health issues, plan ahead so they have time to research their options and think about responses. Act as a teammate, not a boss, and be prepared to speak up on the narrator’s behalf in high-conflict situations.

General Tips for Communicating with a Narrator

  • Show appreciation before difficult discussions.
  • Let them take charge of planning.
  • Put discussions on the calendar.
  • Combine facts and feelings.
  • Give them space to express their opinions before you give your read on the situation.
  • Avoid criticism and nagging.
  • State the rules for the conversation at the outset.
  • Be prepared to take your time.

Discussing Health Concerns with a Narrator

Everyone’s health story is different. However, the situations below encompass many common concerns of narrators and their family members.

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Use a Light Touch to Talk to Narrators about Health Issues

Narrators are great at dealing with difficult situations, but not when there’s compulsion or drama involved. When you take into account their natural communication style, you can enjoy all the benefits of your narrator’s calm, loving nature as you discuss these high-stress health issues.