Relationship conflict can arise for a variety of reasons. Poor communication is a crucial cause of ‘toxic’ and dysfunctional relationships, and a lack of communication might jeopardize a relationship’s survival. A communication breakdown usually entails one of two scenarios: either both spouses have stopped communicating about important matters altogether, or both partners can’t have a normal conversation without it devolving into an argument. Couples that fail to connect intentionally frequently have problems with intimacy and marital growth. While many partners believe that communication tactics are unimportant, they are, in the end, the single most crucial factor in maintaining a good and happy relationship.
A Variety of Factors Causes Communication Breakdown in Partnerships
Lack of Faith
A great relationship is built on the foundations of transparency and trust. When they vanish, communication lines might soon become clogged. The key to open communication in relationships is total transparency.
A Hectic Way of Life
When both partners are working full-time, finding time for each other becomes tough. Tight deadlines, workplace tensions, conflicting work schedules, or even strained relationships with coworkers or a boss can all negatively impact a romantic relationship. People continue to internalize stress in such situations, viewing the other person in the relationship as a burden. This creates a significant communication chasm, which harms the connection.
A Painful Experience
External shock or trauma can drastically alter the dynamics of a relationship. External shocks or trauma can include:
* Bereavement or loss
* Unexpected job loss
* Health concerns or illness
A catastrophic event that occurs suddenly can alter a person’s life, which can harm a person’s relationships with their spouse, family, and friends.
Behavioral Tendencies that Are Harmful to One’s Health
When one or both partners participate in unhealthy behavior patterns, communication in partnerships can break down.
It can include things like:
* Constantly attempting to hurt or abuse the partner in daily interactions
* Constant personality criticism or hurtful attacks * Being defensive in arguments
* Refusing to open up or speak clearly with one another
* Relationship effects of improper communication * Loneliness
* Creating a negative perspective of the partner
* Feeling lost or invisible
* Struggle to achieve goals
Why Can’t a Relationship Succeed if There’s no Communication?
Whether we realize it or not, we continuously talk with one another. Aside from literal words, we communicate instinctively through nonverbals such as facial expressions and body language, as well as by the tone of our voice and our actions.
Couples that do not learn to communicate intentionally will have problems with intimacy, conflict, and relational growth. Genuine connection requires you to comprehend your partner’s inner world and for them to understand yours. If you can’t communicate in a way that advances your relationship, you’ll discover that you grow apart over time. Lack of communication in relationships should not be overlooked, especially if you deliberately feel unable to speak with your partner.
In a Relationship, the Following Are Signs of Poor Communication
- Criticizing or dismissing one another
- Reacting defensively
- Creating a barrier (i.e., giving the cold shoulder)
- Passive aggression: When talking to your partner, becoming openly defensive or unpleasant is a sign you’ve fallen into a toxic communication pattern. Aggressive speech can include:
- using a loud voice
- shaming or chastising
- dominating or commanding the conversation
- Assuming you are aware of your partner’s thoughts.
- Constantly resolving cyclical disagreements
- Inability to compromise
- There are fewer attempts to connect
- Arguing on “the facts” behind a quarrel rather than focusing on what each person went through.
- Instead of confronting disagreement head-on, passive aggression is a means of expressing suppressed rage. This could include things like:
- making jokes about how late your spouse is all the time
- punishing them for being late by giving them the silent treatment
- criticizing their decisions
All of these habits allow you to convey your dissatisfaction without expressing it verbally. It may feel good at the moment, but it isn’t going to help you in the long run.
Sweeping Issues Under the Rug
Avoiding fights will not help either. Ignoring problems only gives them time and room to grow into something more significant in the future.
Do any of the above signs ring true in your relationship? These suggestions can assist you in encouraging more open and honest conversation.
First, Work Through Your Emotions
Before approaching your partner about an issue bothering you, you analyze your feelings on the subject and calm yourself first. Before speaking with your companion, go for a walk or listen to some soothing music. You’ll be able to control your emotions better and communicate as a result.
Consider the Timing
Picking the perfect time to chat with your partner might make all the difference. If anything is bothering you, let your spouse know that you’d want to sit down and chat about it. “Knowing that you’d like to speak with your partner might help de-escalate the issue because they’re less likely to feel ambushed or blindsided by a passionate disagreement,” says the author.
Begin With ‘I’ Phrases and Emotions
The way we communicate with our spouses can make a huge difference. Couples frequently begin a conversation by pointing the finger and blaming the other. Starting a conversation about how you’re feeling can be beneficial, and you can do this by utilizing statements that begin with
Concentrate on Being Heard as Well as Listening
“Many couples approach conversations as though they are disputes or arguments to be won,” he says.
Even if you disagree with your partner’s viewpoint, it’s critical to pay attention to why they feel the way they do. They should extend the same courtesy to you.
When Debating, Don’t Make it a Contest to See Who Can Come Up With the Best Idea
Instead, please pay attention to what they’re saying and try to grasp what they’re saying. Compromise and resolution should be the goal. “Remember that the goal of conversation with your partner is to reach an agreement.” Whether you’re bringing up old grudges or addressing opposing viewpoints on future goals, both of you should feel as if you’ve reached an agreement. Whether dividing tasks or making financial decisions, most resolutions need some compromise. “This encourages individuals to forgive and move on,” she adds. “It can also make partners feel stronger and more connected.”
Define Your Parameters
Setting hard limits to avoid confusion. Consider setting some financial restrictions, for example, if money is a problem. Perhaps you decide that any purchase worth more than $500 must be discussed and approved by both parties before being made.
Make a List for Your Companion
It may seem insignificant, but sending a note to inform your partner of your plans can be incredibly beneficial. Aside from giving helpful information, it shows your lover that you’re thinking of them and taking into account their concerns regarding your whereabouts. Leave a quick message for your partner if you know you’ll be meeting up with a friend after obtaining groceries.
Check-in at regular intervals throughout the day, such as in the morning, around noon, and evening.
Methods for Resolving Communication Problems in Relationships
Listen More, Talk Less
When emotions are running high, everyone wants to convey their point of view, which leads to a situation where no one is interested in resolution or conversation. Interrupting a conversation frequently indicates that one does not believe the other person has anything essential to say and is simply interested in expressing one’s own opinion. The whole goal of a discussion is to listen to the other person without interrupting them. A better listener can persuade, influence, and negotiate. Furthermore, a skilled listener helps keep conflict and misunderstandings at bay.
Address Past Issues
One of the most prevalent reasons couples fail to communicate well is that they haven’t resolved an unpleasant or excruciating event in their relationship. It is necessary to process such painful events, re-establish trust, and forgive one another to make the relationship work again.
Avoid Making Unfair Remarks
When one person in a relationship makes harsh remarks or brings up things from the past, especially issues that were never handled, effective communication is easily broken. It is critical that both parties avoid using phrases like “you” and “always.” These words have the potential to steer the debate in the incorrect direction. Instead, couples should endeavor to address one another by lovingly calling out their first names. This is an excellent way to calm down when you’re angry.
Examine Your Attachment Styles and those of Your Partner
Attachment theory says that each person’s “style” of doing relationships is affected by the type of care they received from their earliest caregivers, according to psychology. Suppose one or both members in the relationship have an insecure attachment style, meaning they develop insecure relationships with others rather than stable and secure ones. In that case, communication will be driven by worry rather than sincerity. When a person responds to their demands for connection by either urgently avoiding them (avoidant attachment) or anxiously chasing them (secure attachment), they are said to be insecure (anxious attachment). In either case, it’s critical to understand what makes it feel comfortable enough to engage in genuine conversation rather than relying on self-protective tactics. If you’re dating someone who has an avoidant personality, they’ll need a lot of space. You can answer by encouraging them to communicate in little chunks, allowing them time to ponder, or offering to text or email some of the chat. If you have a spouse who has an anxious personality, it’s critical to interact with them in a predictable and actively reassuring manner.
Examine Any Meta-Emotion Inconsistencies
A meta-emotion mismatch occurs when two persons have opposing views about emotions. One spouse thinks it’s beneficial to talk about and express feelings, while the other thinks it’s counter productive. It might be challenging to communicate when a couple’s meta-emotions are out of sync. It’s critical to analyze what you and your partner think about emotions to get your partner to communicate with you. When you were a kid, how did you deal with them? Were you able to find it helpful?
Then you’ll want to work together to figure out how to communicate more effectively while keeping these facts straight. This could be learning to let your spouse experience their feelings before offering solutions or being more inclined to focus on solutions and compromise rather than sentiments in certain situations.
Avoid these Communication Blunders
When it comes to communication, there are some things you should avoid at all costs.
The Treatment in Silence
“People frequently use the silent treatment in the mistaken belief that it establishes boundaries,” says one expert. “However, boundaries work best when they are communicated explicitly with a partner; otherwise, they may not realize they’ve crossed one.”
Bringing Up Previous Blunders
During a heated moment, it’s easy to fall into the habit of revisiting the past. Bringing up your partner’s mistakes regularly can backfire and make them defensive.
Screaming or Yelling
Raising your voice or resorting to yelling and screaming is an inefficient approach to deal with your anger during an argument. Arguments may get more intense in the long run, eroding your partner’s self-esteem.
Getting Out of the Room
Stonewalling or walking away in the middle of an argument is a means of disengaging from your spouse and leaving a situation unanswered.
Sarcasm and Insults
Keep an eye out for inappropriate comedy when you’re debating. If you want to break the ice, it’s better to make a harmless joke about yourself than say something hurtful about them.
Disrespectful Nonverbal Behavior
A lot of information may be conveyed through body language. The other person may feel irritated if you check your phone instead of facing them and creating eye contact.