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June 14, 2024

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Parent-Child Communication with Positivity

Positive communication between parents and children lays the foundation for a strong and nurturing relationship. By using language that fosters…

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In a world that increasingly values quick, efficient communication, the tendency to provide more information than necessary can often be more of a hindrance than a help. This phenomenon, metaphorically described as “building an entire clock when someone just asks for the time,” encapsulates the challenges faced by individuals who naturally lean towards in-depth explanations. This article explores the reasons behind this communication style, its impacts, and strategies for achieving more balanced interactions.

Understanding Over-Communication

The tendency to over-communicateβ€”providing more detail than the situation warrantsβ€”can stem from various motivations:

  • Desire for Thorough Understanding: Some people may feel compelled to provide complete context to ensure the listener has all the necessary information to understand the topic fully.
  • Fear of Misunderstanding: In many cases, over-communicators are driven by a fear that without sufficient detail, their message will be misunderstood or misinterpreted.
  • Passion for the Subject: Often, individuals who delve into comprehensive explanations do so out of a deep passion for the subject matter. Their enthusiasm can lead them to share more information than the listener may require or want.

The Impact of Over-Communication

While the intention behind providing a detailed explanation is usually positive, the effects can be counterproductive:

  • Cognitive Overload: Bombarding someone with too much information can lead to confusion and make it harder for them to grasp the key message.
  • Time Consumption: Over-explaining can consume a significant amount of time, which can frustrate the listener and detract from the efficiency of the communication.
  • Intimidation and Disengagement: Listeners may feel overwhelmed or intimidated by the flood of information, leading to disengagement or avoidance of future interactions.

Strategies for More Effective Communication

For those who recognize this tendency in themselves, several strategies can help streamline communication and ensure it is both effective and appreciated:

  1. Tailor Your Message: Consider the listener’s needs and tailor your message accordingly. Ask yourself what is essential for them to know in this moment to answer their question or address their need.
  2. Practice Brevity: Challenge yourself to communicate the key points in a concise manner. Techniques such as the “elevator pitch” methodβ€”being able to deliver a summary in the time it takes to ride an elevatorβ€”can help hone this skill.
  3. Use the Pause: Before launching into an explanation, take a moment to pause and consider whether additional information is necessary. Sometimes, allowing a moment for the listener to ask follow-up questions can guide you on how much detail to provide.
  4. Seek Feedback: Ask for feedback from trusted friends or colleagues about your communication style. Learning how your explanations are perceived can provide valuable insights and help you adjust your approach.
  5. Focus on Listening: Strengthen your active listening skills. By focusing more on what the other person is saying, you can better gauge the level of detail needed in your response.


The ability to communicate information succinctly and effectively is a valuable skill in both personal and professional contexts. For those with a natural inclination to provide extensive details, understanding when and how to condense information can greatly enhance the effectiveness of their communication. By practicing these strategies, individuals can ensure that they are not just building clocks but are also telling the time in a way that is useful and meaningful to their audience.


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