Four Things that can Destroy the Communication in your Relationship
Four Things that can Destroy the Communication in your Relationship. To have the best relationships, you must know what makes the worst. According to Dr. John Gottman, the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” are communication killers that put couples at high risk for divorce when these patterns take up permanent residence in the relationship.
These four things are capable of destroying your relationship beyond repair if they are left unattended.
This group includes blaming, faultfinding, or using global and negative labels to attack your spouse’s character. For example, “How would you know? You’re never home,” or “My problem with you is …” A harsh startup often comes in the form of fault-finding.
By the word “contempt”, I mean lack of respect for your spouse’s dignity, an attitude of looking down on your spouse or seeing them as unworthy. Forms of contempt include name-calling, sarcasm, cynicism, swearing at each other, rolling of the eyes, mockery or hostile humor.
Contempt is demeaning and conveys not just disapproval of your spouse’s behavior, but disgust with who your spouse is. While the other three horsemen show up in small amounts in most marriages, contempt can only be found in toxic relationships. This horseman also includes belligerence, which is an aggressive and angry provocation or threat
Contempt is capable of putting a very wonderful relationship full of love to a tragic end.
Defensiveness is a way of turning back a perceived attack. This can even include a more dangerous attack.
Someone who is defensive denies their spouse’s statements, refuses to admit their role in problems, avoids responsibility for how they impact their spouse or deflects their spouse’s complaints back onto the other person. Defensiveness is destructive because it escalates tension and creates an adversarial interaction.
Defensiveness leads to unnecessary violence in the home and can even lead to complete destruction of your relationship or marriage.
This can be done intentionally to hurt one’s partner or as a remedy to avoid conflict. Stonewalling usually occurs as a result of escalating criticism, contempt, and defensiveness as emotional overload becomes intense.
Spouses who stonewall stubbornly refuse to give any verbal or nonverbal feedback that they are listening or attending to what their spouse is saying. Often they just get up and leave the room. It’s like talking to a stone wall.
Stonewalling is best seen as a containment strategy that spouses use to avoid further escalation of the conflict. The problem is that the stonewaller does not just avoid the fight, but avoids his spouse and the relationship as well. According to John Gottman’s research, 85% of stonewallers are men.
Rather than do any of the things listed above, you can try your best to improve the communication in your relationship if you really want it to work.
How to Communicate Better in your Relationship
Listed below are major tips to help you communicate better in your relationship.
- Ask open-ended questions.
- Listen better.
- Pay attention to non-verbal communications.
- Try not to read their minds.
- Tell them what you need from them.
- Set aside time to talk
Communication is the major fluid that keeps every relationship flowing in the right direction. Make sure your relationship is properly watered with proper and efficient communication. Look out for these communication killers and apply the right steps in making your communication better.