ARE YOU A BAD COMMUNICATOR?
You Could Be What’s Stopping Your Relationship From Growing.
By Taylor Fuqua
Communication is not always an easy thing to do, but it’s ultimately the foundation of a relationship. If one or both parties struggle with communicating, then there will always be conflict within the relationship. After a while, you will begin to notice that the arguments you are having are becoming repetitive. A healthy relationship should give both you and your partner a safe place to openly communicate with each other.
There are tons of signs that you or your partner might be a bad communicator, but the positive side to that is most of the signs are things that can be improved as long as both parties are wanting to make the relationship work. Here are some of the top warning signs of a bad communicator.
You constantly interrupt.
One of the most frustrating things to experience with a partner when having a discussion or even in an argument, is someone who constantly interrupts. Both you and your partner need to feel heard and the only way to effectively do that is to give each other the opportunity to speak. Listening is key here. Your partner wants to feel heard just like you, so while they are speaking, let them finish their thoughts and avoid talking over them. It can be frustrating for them if they are made to feel like they are unable to speak as much as you may be during a discussion , especially when it comes down to arguments. If you are listening to understand and not listening to respond, you will give your partner the adequate opportunity to express themselves. They will feel confident in knowing that you understand and respect exactly what they are saying.
Issues arise during the times you’re not together.
A lot of people struggle with being confrontational, and while it’s understandable that some people just like to avoid hostile situations, in a relationship it is vital that you confront your partner directly when an issue arises. Not over text messages, social media, or email; face to face. That is the only way to resolve conflict in a relationship. Being direct is important and when trying to communicate issues over text messages, a lot of things can be misinterpreted leading to even more problems. If you and your partner want each other to be happy, you need to be open with each other, and face those issues together in person.
You easily get defensive.
Keep in mind, when you’re communicating with your partner, regardless of what it’s about, remember they are not the enemy. If you easily get defensive when a partner brings something to your attention, this will make it hard for you to have an open conversation. Your partner is not here to hurt you, and when you easily go into defense mode with them, it can make them feel like that’s what you think of them. Defensiveness can block out compassionate communication. It prevents partners from not having access to the affection or empathy they might need from their partner. When you get defensive with your partner, you ultimately force yourself into the victim role and deny your responsibility in the problem. Defensiveness completely dismisses your partner of their feelings. It will make it extremely hard for your partner to feel heard in the relationship, and this can heighten the strain.
You are quick to walk away.
This can be one of the most hurtful things a person can do in a relationship. If you truly love your partner and want to be with them, walking away from them because of a difference in opinions is never okay. Running away from problems doesn’t make them go away. If anything it intensifies the situation even more and ultimately it makes your partner feel abandoned . If your first reaction to any situation in a relationship is to run for the door, then maybe it’s time to evaluate your true desires to be in a relationship. Commitment requires work, and walking away is just the easy way out.
It’s about you, all the time.
Relationships involve two people. That’s two hearts, two minds, two opinions, and two sets of emotions. There isn’t a “me” in the word relationship, you gave up the “me’s” for “we” when you decided to be with this person. In any relationship, you have to be able to step outside yourself as well as take into account the opinions and feelings of the other person. This doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything they do or say, but be respectful of them as an individual. This can be a hard concept to grasp, especially if you don’t have as much experience in relationships, but it’s important to understand it in order for the relationship to work.
Resort to attacking or spewing insults.
Resulting to attacking your partner with insults in any situation is completely wrong. If you respect this person as your partner and someone you are in a committed relationship with, there should never be a time where you use your words to intentionally hurt them. Words hurt, and once they are conveyed, there’s not enough sorry’s in the world to take them back. No matter how angry the situation or your partner may make you, there are certain lines you don’t cross and respect is one them. Personal attacks and insults can promote resentment with your partner which will make them reluctant to being vulnerable with you in the future. It strips your partner of their safe place to openly communicate and creates communication barriers.
You make excuses.
Making excuses for your faults in a relationship is another defense mechanism that is very harmful when it comes to problem solving in a relationship. Making excuses allows you to place blame on something that seems like it is out of your control in order to protect yourself and avoid any feelings of guilt or shame. Excuses may seem like that easy way out of conflict or uncomfortable situations, but they actually can cause harm to your relationship over time. If you are making excuses, you aren’t taking accountability for your part in the conflict, but instead excusing your behaviors and ultimately your partners feelings.
A relationship brings two people who may have completely different views, upbringings, and interests together to create something beautiful and unique. It’s not always going to be easy. Relationships aren’t easy, and being a bad communicator makes relationships that much harder. The easiest way to unlearn some of these bad habits and be a more effective communicator in your relationship, is to simply sit down with your partner and talk.
Of course, this isn’t something that will be magically fixed overnight, but if you and your partner are willing to make the relationship work, with time it will get better. Having a partner that is willing to work with you will give you the confidence you need to make the necessary changes and become a better communicator.