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Lack of communication can wreak havoc on your relationship

Published on:2 October 2021, 10:44am IST
There’s a reason why effective communication is considered the cornerstone of successful relationships. Here’s what you need to do, in case of a breakdown.
Dr Prakriti Poddar
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communication in relationship
Keeping a clear communication channel will always help. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Conflict in relationships can occur due to several reasons. Poor communication presents itself as a major reason behind ‘toxic’ unhealthy relations. The lack of communication in a relationship can threaten its very existence. Usually, a communication breakdown involves either of the two scenarios – both the partners have stopped talking altogether about important things or both the partners can’t have a normal discussion, without turning it into an argument.
Couples who fail to consciously communicate with one another often face issues regarding relational growth and intimacy. While many partners feel that communication strategies are not something to pay much attention to, in the end, it’s the one thing that truly holds crucial significance in healthy and happy relationships.

communication in relationship
Lack of communication can fuel arguments. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Common reasons for communication breakdown in relationships

Lack of trust
Transparency and trust are the pillars of a successful relationship. When they disappear, breakdowns in communications can quickly take place. Total transparency remains the key to open communication in relationships.

Busy lifestyle
Making time for the spouse becomes difficult when both the partners are busy working full-time. Tight deadlines, stressors at work, conflicting work schedules, or even difficult relationships with the team or a manager can negatively impact an intimate relationship. In such situations, people begin to internalise stress, perceiving the other person in the relationship just as a burden. This brings a wide communication gap ultimately affecting the relationship adversely.

A traumatic event
An external shock or trauma can rapidly change a relationship’s dynamics. Trauma or external shocks can include:

  • Loss or bereavement
  • Sudden unemployment
  • Health scares or illness
  • Accident

A sudden traumatic event can change a person. This can also affect a person’s communication with their spouse, family, and friends.

Unhealthy behavioural patterns
Communication in relationships can also break down when either one or both of the partners engage in unhealthy patterns of behaviour. It can include:

  • Always trying to hurt or abuse the partner in daily interactions
  • Constant criticism of personality or hurtful attacks
  • Being defensive in arguments
  • Refusing to open up or speak clearly with one another
  • Effects of improper communication in relationships
  • Loneliness
  • Creating a negative perspective of the partner
  • Lack of intimacy
  • Feeling lost or unseen
  • Difficulty in reaching goals
communication in relationship
Improper communication can have a negative impact on your relationship. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Ways to fix communication issues in relationships

Listen more, talk less: When the emotions are running high, every person wants to express their point of view, which leads to a situation where no one is really interested in resolution or conversation. Constant interruption in a conversation is an indication that one doesn’t think that the other person has something important to talk about and only wants to express their own opinion.

The entire point of a conversation is to listen to the other person without the constant urge to interrupt. A better listener can influence, persuade and negotiate. What’s more, a good listener can also keep at bay conflict and misunderstandings.

Address past issues: One of the common reasons why couples fail to communicate properly is because something painful or agonizing happened in their relationship that hasn’t been resolved. It is important to process such hurtful incidences, build trust once again and forgive one another to make the relationship work again.

communication in relationship
You need to trust your partner to enjoy emotional intimacy. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Avoid unfair remarks: Effective communication is easily terminated when one person in a relationship makes unfair remarks or brings up things from the past, especially situations that were never resolved. It is imperative that both the partners avoid words like ‘you’ and ‘you always’. Such words can easily take the conversation in the wrong direction. Instead of that, couples should try and address one another by calling out their first name in a loving way. This is an effective technique to dilute anger.

Dr Prakriti Poddar Dr Prakriti Poddar

Dr Poddar is a mental health expert. She is also the managing trustee of Poddar Foundation, which focuses on raising awareness of mental health issues and creating preventive mental health programs.