The best way I can illustrate this is to give a couple of examples that illustrate the difference between superficial communication and imagery-rich communication. I’ve deliberately made one about joy and one about sorrow to show how important these changes can be across the span of human experience. And because couples today most often connect by texting, I’ve written them in that context.
Example Number One:
Short-cut way of communicating:
“Hi, sweetheart. Just got out of the meeting. Things went great. I think I’ve nailed it. Let’s go out tonight and celebrate.”
“Sounds wonderful. I’m so proud of you. See you soon, honey.”
“Communication is a skill that you can learn. It’s like riding a bicycle or typing. If you’re willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life.” – Brian Tracy
“Hi, sweetheart. Are you sitting down? Pretend I’m not in a hotel room an hour away in my shorts getting ready to take a welcome shower, cause everything in me wants to take you in my arms so you can feel my heartbeat. I’m so damned excited. I walked into that interview literally sweating.
There was no way I thought they’d be able to see my vision. It just took a few minutes. I kept pretending you were behind them doing your great thumbs-up, go-for-it expression. It helped me calm down. I focused on the most important person in the room and just pretended he’d known me from the beginning and already knew my work and my dreams.
It was like being in a magical place as if the world was in my pocket. Get ready to be with your new guy, babe. I’ll be home as soon as the freeway jungle lets me free. Pick your favorite restaurant and don’t worry about what it costs. This is our night.”
“I’m so incredibly proud of you. My heart is bursting and I’m smiling like a Cheshire Cat sitting on the kitchen floor with your wonderful pooch on my lap. He either knows something’s up or is just hungry, cause he’s drooling and grinning. We look like twins, except he’s cuter.
I feel like we’re sitting on the moon together, playing catch with the stars. I was there with you. I astro-projected myself into your world while watching the ocean. Dolphins came. I knew it was a sign.
I know how you love to have people around you when you’re excited. Would you like me to round up the admiration-posse and have them join us for dinner? I’ll have you to myself, later, and I’m okay with sharing you first. I love you so much.”
Example Number Two:
Short-cut way of communicating:
“I took Misty to the vet for her check-up. I thought everything was fine and that she was just a little dehydrated cause of the heat. She had cancer all throughout her body. He told me that the humane thing was to put her down because she was in obvious pain and there was nothing she could do. I’m so sad. I wish you were here.”
“Oh, wow, honey. I had no idea she was so sick. I have this important meeting until late. Hope you’ll be okay. Call a friend if you need to until I can get home tomorrow night. She was a great cat. We’ll get another one. You’ll be okay.”
“I know you have that important meeting tonight and you’re probably tense and worried because I know how you get when you feel under the gun like this. But I’m so sad and I just need to feel your presence even if you’re so far away.
Okay, here it comes. Our cat died today at the vet’s. I know we’ve both been a little worried because of her turning her food away, but I truly didn’t know. I can hardly talk, Charlie. I’m so upset. I’m walking around in circles and feel totally disoriented like it’s the night when it’s morning and my world isn’t making sense.