Struggling with Communication? Part 3

Hopefully you're getting a solid idea of bad communication. These characteristics need to be eliminated as much as possible when talking with others. Let's look at some more unhealthy communication habits:

  • Put-downs - This happens in a conversation when you imply that the person you're speaking with is "lazy" or "stupid"  because he or she "always" or "never" does certain things. Notice that you don't have to come out and call someone a name for it to be a put-down. Just implicating or hinting you believe a certain way about someone gives off the same vibe. Anytime you suggest something negative about another person in a conversation, that person is going to feel defensive and attacked, and the conversation will not go well.
  • Hopelessness - We all feel hopeless at times. When hopelessness occurs in conversations, a person gives up in the discussion, insisting nothing will work and there's "no point in trying". This makes it very difficult to find out what the problem is, let alone problem solve! Instead, try to keep an open-mind. It may feel as though nothing will work, but that may not be fact. Go on and discuss it through with another person...they may have great feedback and ideas that you might not have considered.
  • Demandingness - This occurs in conversations when you believe you deserve better treatment, but you refuse to ask for what you want in a direct manner. Too often we hear clients say, "I'm not going to tell them what I want, it should be obvious!".  It would be great if we could all read minds, but that's not the case. Yes, you do deserve the best treatment in the world, and I bet the other person would like to give it to you if they knew what it was that you wanted. Being direct and straightforward minimizes confusion & miscommunication.

If you notice yourself in any of these, don't worry. Be conscious about it and ask loved ones in your life to gently hold you accountable to work on it. Thanks for reading. We've got plenty more "bad" characteristics coming your way!

 Written by: Tamara Wilhelm MA, LMHC LCAC

*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling  at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.