Guy de Maupassant once said, “It is the encounters with people that make life worth living.” Intimate relationships are one of the hallmarks of adulthood and can influence our mood, mental health, and overall well-being. Healthy relationships can provide security, happiness, support, and a sense of achievement.
However, when the relationship between a couple becomes strained, it can become significant distress to both parties. The conflict between couples can lead to negative effects on mental and physical health.
One of the most consistent causes of conflict among couples is due to ineffective communication.
Importance of communication
Communication is a key factor in maintaining a healthy relationship. It is one of the makers or breakers of long-lasting relationships. Couples who do not effectively communicate will face issues that can lead to devastating consequences.
Lack of communication is often a root of the conflict between couples. This should not be ignored and should be addressed immediately.
Signs of Ineffective Communication
- Harsh criticism or belittlement of each other
- Defensiveness during arguments
- Neglect for feelings
- Lying or hiding details from each other
- Constant interruption
- Silent treatment
- Passive aggression
- One word-answers
- Bringing up past problems
- Assuming your partner knows what you are thinking
- Non-resolution of recurring arguments
- Lack of compromise
- One sided texts, messages, or calls
Effects of lack of communication in a relationship
- Escalated conflict
- Thinking negatively about your partner
- Irritability and annoyance of one another
- Avoiding talking or communicating
- Avoidance of one another
- Seeking the comfort of other people
- Lack of intimacy
- Difficulty expressing thoughts and opinions
5 Forms of Ineffective Communication
All couples experience conflict, usually as an effect of poor communication. Here are some reasons why communication is ineffective among couples.
It is common to be formulating a response to a person while he or she is talking. However, this is a sign of not effectively listening to the person. Instead of taking note of what they are talking about, we tend to be more focused on what reply to give.
Dealing with a partner who refuses to listen can be hard and frustrating. Failing to listen to your partner causes a breakdown in communication and decreases the chances of resolution of a conflict.
This is another reason for ineffective communication with your partner. People are passive aggressive when there is something they want to express but choose not to, or cannot do so directly. Typical passive-aggressive behaviors include making indirect harsh comments, refusing to talk until they figure out what is wrong, and making threats or sabotaging your partner.
The problem with passive-aggressiveness is giving your partner the cold shoulder, leaving them to wonder what they did wrong. Passive-aggressive communication is often misinterpreted, causing bigger conflicts between couples. If there is a problem between the couple, address the problem head-on.
Yelling and Name-calling
With our heightened emotions, fighting with our loved ones can lead to yelling and name-calling. Yelling and name-calling can also be signs of verbal abuse. To properly communicate, we need to maintain emotional control and avoid raising our voices and calling our partners uncalled for names.
This becomes an ineffective way to communicate because both of you are not trying to communicate and there unless both of you remain calm, you will not be able to talk through the issue.
Invalidation is the act of rejecting or dismissing your partner’s thoughts and feelings. It often gives your partner the feeling that they are not important, or their feelings are wrong and unacceptable. Psychological invalidation makes your partner filled with self-doubt.
This often leads to ineffective communication because both parties are unable to express fully their thoughts and feelings.
Do not assume your partner knows everything. A relationship is based on communication and not an assumption. Your partner is not you, do not assume they think the same way as you do.
Communication is ineffective because there is no clarity between the two parties. Stay on the same page by airing out your concerns and needs.
According to the American Psychological Association, about 75 percent of couples who opt for therapy say it improves their relationships. Couples therapy allows for focused time between each other.
Therapy can help. It is not simply about putting the blame on the other, but rather a session for open communication and learning how to communicate effectively. If you are struggling to communicate with your partner, our specialists at MindShift Psychological Services can help you rebuild and further strengthen your relationship as a couple. Contact any MindShift Wellness Center near me today in the Corona, Newport Beach, Los Angeles, and Riverside areas.
To schedule a consultation and find out about our services, give us a call at (714) 584-9700 today.