Communication is the mortar that holds a relationship together. Whether things are going well or poorly in a relationship communication is going to be in the middle of it. So, we will take a look at some things that can go off track with communication in relationships and how to mend them.
Unhealthy Communication Patterns in Relationships
Unfortunately, despite people’s best intentions they can slip into bad habits. It may begin with starting to take your partner for granted or forgetting why you are together to begin with. This often results in patterns that fall into one of the categories.
- Empty Talk Couples with this pattern may do perfectly fine at business like data exchanges about logistics regarding bills or school drop-offs etc. However, they lack the “Deep and Meaningful” emotional sharing level of connection.
- No Talk Simply not talking at all or only minimalistic discussions when they do occur.
- Harmful Talk Loud critical or abusive language or statements. Some relationship theories refer to this as talking with contempt.
The bad habits that appear with the communication in your relationships can be changed. Like breaking any habit, it can be challenging at times. Here are a few things that can definitely help set you on the right path.
- Consider your Audience Knowing how your partner may interpret your comments can be helpful. Considering this may help you choose the right words or examples to best make your point.
- Timing is important Making sure you are allowing adequate time for your important conversations to unfold is essential. A 1-hour talk will never fit neatly into the 10 minutes before you walk out the door for the day.
- Do it with Feeling Many things in life require us to operate on a logical, planning level. However, in relationships it is also important to also consider your opinions, reactions, preferences, emotions and wants. Often in couples this comes more naturally to one than the other. Whichever side of that you are on, remember to keep trying and be patient.
- Take Timeouts If you notice that either you or your partner are starting to become too emotional it may be advisable to take a time out. A cooling off period can often prevent folks slipping into hurtful or hateful language and character attacks.
If you are interested in hearing more about improving the communication in your relationships, you may enjoy a recent radio interview I did for 2NM that aired on Valentine’s Day. If you missed it you can listen in using the link below.