Pet Peeve: Lack of Communication

I need to start of by saying that the issues that are discussed within the pet peeve topic are both frustrations within myself and with others. In the spirit of transparency and fairness I will start with how this is an irritaion within me.

I am terrible with long distance relationships. It’s not that I don’t care. It’s not that I’ve moved on. It’s not even that I don’t want to. But for whatever the reason I neglect communication with those who are the farthest from me. I hate this about myself and I almost feel like what Paul says in Romans 7 applies to me here.

For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. – Romans 7:15

Although my lack of communication is far from sin against God, it is an injustice and a wound to those who receive the brunt of my silence. Most of these people know who they are and I have nothing to hide here. My Dad and my brother Tim fall into this category. My friends Andrew & Shelly are right there with them. My friend Bret has also been a victim to my silence and probably much more, to the point that it would take a miracle for the relationship to be restored. I also have friends who live only 45 minutes away that I struggle to communicate with because of this deficiency within me.

There are a few compounding factors as to why I am so poor at long distance relationships. These are not excuses as much as they are reasons why I struggle with it so much.

I am a live orator. That kind of sounds silly to say it but it’s true. I love being in the same room with the people I am talking to. In that situation I am great but I hate talking on the phone and I am a terrible writer. One day we will be able to have holographic images of the people we are speaking to sitting across from us and then all my problems will be solved. Well, at least this one.

I am a pastor. I am sure that there are pastors who have figured this out but I haven’t yet. As a pastor I tend to have my time taken by the biggest known need. This frustrates many I am sure but as a still small church there isn’t anyone else to take up the slack in that area. I am sure Kevin can back me up on that.

I am a pastor. I know I already said that but I missed a point. As the pastor, I do not encourage this, but people want to talk to you more than others in the church. There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with this. They feel like they will understand the church better by speaking to the pastor and in many ways they may be right. That tends to take a lot of time away from other communications though.

I am lazy. At my core I want to lay around and relax. I seldom let myself but it’s what I want. When the phone does stop ringing, everyone has left my home and I finally have a spare moment I don’t really want to make another phone call (did I mention that I hate talking on the phone).

At the moment I don’t have the answers, only the struggle. To all of you who are on the list above and possibly read this blog…I’m sorry.

Now it’s time for me rag on some of the things that frustrate me about others when it comes to a lack of communication. Remember, these qualities bother me about myself as well.

Double Talkers

I have done this at one time or another but it frustrates me when people complain, condemn or offer veiled stabs about my lack of communication and yet it’s not like my phone is ringing off the hook. Communication is a two way road but I feel like most the time, when no one travels it, I am the one blamed. If you miss me so much…pick up the phone and call.

Angela and I have even taken vacations to New York and San Antonio to see our friends and family. I may not pick up the phone that often but either do they and the last time I checked none of them have even once come and visited us in Tennessee. I’m just saying…

Non Responders

This really represents two groups of people. Only one of which I have been a part of. The first is the struggle that I can identify with and yet it still bugs the garbage out of me. These are the people who you call and email repeatedly and even ask for a response yet they don’t. Many times this is caused by just plain poor time management. You get an email or a call and think that you will just respond to it later when you have a free moment. The problem is that you never have a free moment other than the time that you received the message. Other times it’s simply that you just don’t think it’s important enough to respond to. The problem here is…I thought it was important enough to send to you. You do the math.

The second group doesn’t just frustrate me. They actually make me physically angry. I usually sin not. These people have a responsibility to communicate with me or someone else and they simply don’t. This might be the person who has a responsibility to be somewhere or do something whosimply doesn’t show. It is also the person who has information that you need who decides everything is more important than getting it to you. This one is not so much about communication as it is about character. If you say you are going to do something than do it. We don’t need your lip service.

So there you have it. I am terrible at communication and so are you. It feels good to get that off my chest. Don’t execute me. Instead, offer your communication struggles, pet peeves and possible solutions. I would love to hear from you. Of course now if you don’t comment you may fall into the first part of the “non-responders”. I hate you already. 😉