These four negative communication patterns below will be the end of your relationship if behavior doesn’t change.
You might not know you’re even communicating this way or unable to control it.
Criticism – Attacks the character of the recipient instead of the specific behavior
Antidote: Talk about your feelings using ‘I’ statements
Contempt – Expression of superiority
Antidote: Treat one another with respect and build a culture of appreciation
Defensiveness – Self protection through righteous indignation, playing the victim
Antidote: Accept responsibility even if for part of the conflict.
Stonewalling – Listener withdraws from the conversation. Does not resolve anything.
Antidote: Take a break for 20 minutes and return to the conversation.
Do see yourself in any of these communication patterns? Mine was stonewalling and I did it for years. I had no idea this was my communication behavior…I just thought it was better to walk away from an argument than say anything wrong. Well I might have won the award for not saying anything mean but I certainly was losing big time on staying connected with my husband because I would never return to the conversation. Let’s just pretend the conversation never happened. Okay? Ok! Can you relate?
It’s taken me years to break the cycle of shutting down during an argument. If I had to measure the success of going to counseling I would share how I’ve gone from shutting down for days to being able to talk about things within 20 minutes and sometimes now even in the moment.
Tomorrow on our monthly webinar, Russ and I will be sharing how our negative communication patterns set us back a few steps and how we course correct. It wasn’t easy in the beginning to break old habits but we did it with the help of counseling. Join us to shorten your learning curve on how to avoid these 4 negative communication patterns.
Brave enough to share your communication struggles and how you you work through them? I believe we all can learn from each other! We’d love to hear from you…comment below.