Struggling with Communication? Part 2

Communication tricks can trip up any relationship, including friends, parents, children, coworkers, and romantic partners.  Communication is important in how we present ourselves to the world and how we show understanding of the world around us.   Here are a few more unhealthy communication types:

*Denial- It’s not a river in Egypt!  Denial is when you insist that you do not feel hurt, angry, or sad when you really do.  Many women have been raised with the notion that it is bad manners to show anger.  Many men are taught that showing sadness is showing weakness.  We learn to deny our feelings at an early age.  Sometimes we deny our true feelings to avoid a fight or save someone else’s feelings in reaction to our own feelings.  To have open communication, you have to be honest with yourself and your partner about your true feelings.

*Passive Aggression- This characteristic goes hand in hand with denial.  When you pout, or withdraw or say nothing, you are being passive aggressive.  Storming out of a room and slamming doors are also passive aggressive behaviors.  Partners use these actions to communicate without owning their feelings.  Notice in this instances no words are used, but here the user of this form of communication is saying plenty.  The biggest problem with passive aggression is that it short circuits continued honest communication between partners.

*Self-Blame- This is another way to avoid an honest conversation, even though you may not know it.  Instead of dealing with the problem, you act as if you are an awful, terrible person.  Often coupled with sarcasm, this form of communication leaves much room for misunderstanding and frustration for both partners.   This kind of bad communication shuts down the conversation and stops a healthy disagreement in its tracks.  No one is “all bad”.  “Awful-izing” a disagreement is not helpful to reaching the end of an argument in a healthy way.

I hope that you are recognizing some of the bad communication traits you have read so far. Noticing them in yourself or friends, family, or partners is healthy start to improving your own communication.  Change them to honest healthy communication forms for better outcomes.  Come back tomorrow when Natalie continues to share more forms of bad communication.

Written by Guest Author Alexa Griffith, LMHC, LCAC, NCC, RPT