Ineffective Communication 101

Ineffective Communication 101 - Cheryl Woolstone Counselling Blog

Under stress, communication often breaks down.

People end up doing and saying a lot of unpleasant and nasty things to their partner.

We all have patterned ways of reacting when feeling threatened, inadequate or fearful, which sabotage the possibility of connection and clarity.

We bring these patterned responses into our relationships. Often the learning begins in our family of origin.

These reactions are basically ineffective coping mechanisms designed to reduce emotional pain. The problem is that behaving in these ways does not get us closer to having our needs met.

We also lose the opportunity to understand our partner on a deeper level and to experience this in return.

If you want to make matters worse and perpetuate the cyclical argument that frustrates you both, try the following:

  • Withdraw – Give minimal responses. Exit in the middle of a heated conversation. Stonewall. Send the message that you don’t care or can’t be bothered by what your partner is trying to communicate.
  • Resentful Compliance – In order to avoid tension or conflict become over-accommodating to your partner. Do not say what you really think or feel and then create resentment, telling yourself that your partner doesn’t understand you.
  • Whine – Complain. Compete for the victim position. Be indirect about what you want.
  • Blame – Try to dominate the discussion. Refuse to take personal responsibility. Yell. Accuse. Point fingers.

To create a vital, flourishing relationship, we have to resist the temptation to use these ineffective coping mechanisms and poor communication strategies. Very challenging as these reactions are hard wired into our neural pathways.

The first step is awareness. The next step is learning a new way of communicating; a new way of talking and a new way of listening.

This is accomplished with the IMAGO Couples Dialogue process.

Which of these patterns do you commonly use when the stress gets too high?

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This entry was posted on Thursday, June 3rd, 2010 at 5:49 PM and is filed under IMAGO and Relationships. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 Responses to “Ineffective Communication 101”

  1. Greg Widerski Says:

    July 4th, 2010 at 10:53 AM

    You’re right on target.

  2. cheryl Says:

    July 6th, 2010 at 3:43 PM

    Thanks Greg, appreciate the positive words. Cheryl

  3. social workers Says:

    January 24th, 2011 at 10:14 PM

    Do you people have a facebook fan page? I looked for one on twitter but could not discover one, I would really like to become a fan!

  4. Cheryl Woolstone Says:

    January 28th, 2011 at 3:58 PM

    You can find me on Facebook under Cheryl Woolstone Counselling. Thanks for asking. Cheryl

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