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“You can fix the lack of communication if you follow these easy steps in your relationships.” Have you heard this before? So many times, we the advice givers tell you that the key to solving conflict and understanding others is based on your ability to properly communicate in relationships. However, there is a downside to this advice… You want the truth?
Sometimes, communication does not work and it isn’t enough to solve the issue. Don’t get me wrong, I believe communication is a bridge to building trust, understand, mutual growth, and strong relationships. However, your issue is UNIQUE. In relationships, we give steps that you apply and you hope that 1 + 1 will equal 2. For some people, the math adds up correctly. Unfortunately for some, you can do everything right and still get bad results.
Why does this happen? There are many reasons why communication strategies don’t work. I will walk you through those reasons. As you read, consider these as you communicate with the people around you.
What does lack of communication mean?
Lack of communication means both parties in a relationship feel like they have not been heard nor understood. Both parties usually handle conflict in a different manner and struggle to get on the same page. In addition, the way that each individual handles pain and understands life differs so it leads to many misunderstandings, assumptions, criticisms, and misaligned goals. Ultimately, partners cannot be team players and work together if they cannot understand each other and work towards similar goals.
10 Signs of Bad Communication In A Relationship:
- Your or the person struggle with shame and guilt
- People pleasing is a major part of your relationship
- Control, lying, and manipulation is used
- Someone has victim mentality
- You argue about the same thing all the time
- There is immaturity and a “you did it first” mentality
- There is a refusal to grow unless the other person changes
- Constructive criticism is seen as an attack
- Past events always come back up
- Other non-involved party are always in the mix
- There is no communication at all in your relationship
- Build of resentment for things that aren’t address or fixed
The effects of lack of communication is a reduction in an individual’s ability to attach to their partner properly. Eventually each individual losses respect and love for their partner due to the build of resentment, feeling overlooked, expectations, and and being criticized.
7 Reasons for Lack of Communication in Relationships:
1. People Are Unique
People are their own unique person. Most advice given is for general issue. To really understand how to communicate with an individual, we must be willing to learn. We should be humble enough to learn how the other person thinks, feels, and behaves. They are not us. When we view their behavior through our eyes we fail to understand WHO they are and what they are trying to communicate.
They must do this for us as well. In a relationship, two people should be striving to understand what is being said – beyond words. Too many people in romantic relationships get mad their partner isn’t understanding them or meeting their expectations for a fantasy hallmark relationship that NO ONE can live up too.
You can’t skip the hard work of going to the Middle School, High School, and then College to study your partner. You need to come out with a Masters Degree of “Partners Name Here.” You have to put in the hours, study, and be be patient. You must both refuse to label each other as offensive terms when you’re hurt or misunderstood. Communicate. Refuse to settle for misunderstandings. Address your root issues with a therapist or mentor. And communicate some more.
Related Article: Building Trust: 6 Steps To Get People To Let You In!
2. Toxic Behaviors
You could be communicating with someone that is unhealthy. If that is the case, you will get nowhere… Especially, if they refuse to change. This type of communication roadblock is obvious if you are trying your best and trying to grow, but the other person is saying everything is your fault and taking no responsibility.
This is one of six signs that you are in a toxic relationship. You can read more about why people don’t change and six different behaviors that will stop proper communication by clicking the link to a related article. Or, you can take this quiz: Do you have toxic tendencies? to see how you contribute to communication issues. Regardless of who is bringing the toxic energy, these type of problems are HUGE and can be solved by physically distance, separating, moving-on, and/or therapy. Ultimately, do you or they even want to change?
Forgiveness is a long process. Sometimes, one person in the relationship thinks they forgave and but they didn’t. If we have not fully healed, we end up withholding ourselves in a relationship. A hurt person may view things through pain, we might be revengeful, we might feel entitled to certain treatment, we assume things, we become fearful of it happening again, we might become controlling, we might not give our hearts fully, etc.
All these actions are hindrances to communication. Communication isn’t just an action from the mouth. Communication is your entire spirit, heart, and mind wanting to fix the relationship with someone else.
Related Article: What is Forgiveness and Why is it Important?
My personal experience: I had a dream where I was thinking about how someone hurt me. I felt I had a RIGHT to be upset. I heard God’s voice in the dream saying – “Let it go.” I replied, “I’m suppose to let go of everything?” The voice said “Yes everything!” I said, “Just like that? After all they did?!” God replied, “Yes, Just like that… After all they did.”
This dream reminded me that God is in the business of forgiveness. And if we are His children, we “must be about our Father’s business.” Luke 2:49
4. Blinded by Pain
When someone has been hurt they become fearful and scared. This will cause their brain to look for everything that can cause that pain. Unfortunately, they focus too much on avoiding the pain which leads to seeing people’s actions incorrectly.
For instance, you may think someone is controlling. If they started giving you advice on what to eat and bringing extra food, you may become annoyed. Everything that person does will seem controlling now. However, that person may have thought they were just helping. They may believe if you had a problem you would say it. And if you did speak up, they would gladly honor your wishes.
In addition, insecurity can be an obstacle to healthy communication. The person you are speaking with may never believe you love them – no matter what you say or do – if they don’t believe they are worthy of being loved. Our pain is caused by many different emotions but they all stop us from viewing and believing that the words/actions of others are good.
This leads to constant misinterpretations and misunderstandings in communications. Due to unhealthy perspectives, two people cannot be on the same page to fix or speak about a problem.
Related Articles: 2 Keys To Stop Thinking Negatively About Our Loved Ones!
5. Spiritual Blindness
This is the craziest one — But, have you ever been communicating with someone and they just can’t understand why you’re upset? You can tell the other person genuinely cares, but they just can’t understand why you are mad! This is called spiritual blindness.
I had a dream that I was with someone I loved. He and I were walking and he did something that really hurt me. I tried to explain it to him and He just wasn’t getting it. I started to grow mad. I kept re-explaining myself and He brushed it off like it wasn’t a big deal. I started to yell and curse at him. I was shocked at my behavior — as I’m very mild tempered. Then, the spirit of God entered the room and assured me he’d explain for me. I went downstairs very calm and carried on with my life as I waited. I could see the Holy Spirit upstairs with the person that hurt me — In the spirit, He was helping my gentleman friend understand how he hurt me.
Related Article: 5 Reasons You Can’t Be A Good Person Without Jesus!
I give you this dream so you understand that we need Jesus and the power of his Spirit to do relationships well. Ever just had a thought pop to your head and said, “Oh! That’s why that person felt like that!” Basically, that was God explaining something that you didn’t understand. Therefore, we must pray for others to come into the full understanding of a conflict. Sometimes, we can’t make someone understand… We need God’s power.
6. Lack Of Vulnerability
Are you vulnerable with the people that are closest to you? Vulnerability is not just being HONEST. We can be honest about things that bother us. However, honesty doesn’t always require sharing information that someone could use to hurt us. Vulnerability is “the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.”
Kindly communicating your anger, happiness, and fears with the people we love requires vulnerability. Many people avoid discussions because they are scared of being “harmed” or “giving someone else the power over their emotions”. Vulnerability is a risk we take knowing that someone might not understand, love us, or respond well. But, if we love others enough we will take that risk to bring healing and mutual growth.
Related Article: In Love With A Prideful Man? 6 Helpful Tips!
7. Lack of Wisdom
Life experience teaches us a lot. Sometimes, people cannot understand because they have never experienced something. I remember speaking to people about situations and offering endless advice. Now that I’m older and wiser, I realized how offensive my advice must of been. I had never been through their deep pain or seen anyone that had.
I have learned that we must not assume we understand someone, ever. True wisdom is knowing that you don’t know everything. And, that you will always be learning.
We must ask questions and truly listen. Everyone’s story is different and worth understanding. Relationships are a chance to learn more about the world, ourselves, and other people. We are forever students in the school of relationships. Keep listening in-class, studying each other, and you will be ready to pass each NEW relationship exam.
Related Article: 10 Emotional Triggers + Needs That Destroy Relationships!
How To Fix A Lack Of Communication In Your Relationship:
- Learn to healthy coping strategies: sometimes we can try to fix things with someone by talking, but we have broken emotions underneath. We need to learn to deal with pain inside us and heal. Two broken people will never hear each other.
- Practice vulnerability: you have to drop your guard and fear of being hurt. You will shut love out If you allow pride and your wall to defend you.
- Heal your generational trauma: what habits do you see your family struggle with in relationships? I suggest healing that or you’ll repeat it. Two people with generational trauma are using failing skills that they learned from their family. It’s time you both learned new skills.
- View tense conversations as an opportunity to gain understanding not a battle of right and wrong
- Build trust: do you trust that your partner had good intentions even if they hurt your feelings? Can you forgive? Can you be patient?
Is lack of communication a red flag? Yes, lack of communication is a red flag. Usually people that can’t communicate have unresolved issues in past relationships. They will bring these unresolved feelings and lack of communication into your life. Then, you’ll have to deal with your issues, theirs, your relationship, and both of your previous baggage. It is hard work.
Can lack of communication ruin a relationship? Lack of communication will slowly erode any relationship and ruin love. No one is mind reader, therefore we will disappoint others occasionally. If we don’t talk about those issues and grow, we will frustrate the people around us. Everyone sees the world differently and we need to talk to reach understanding and compromise.
Can a relationship work without communication? No, a relationship cannot work without good communication. Most relationships ignore issues and brush so much under the rug, until the rug can’t hold anymore. But when the conflict is addressed that late, it’s hard to identify the actual issues versus the issues we have developed in our head. We tend to make the other person a monster in our head when we don’t ask for clarity and gain mutual understanding.
What is lack of communication skills? A lack of communication skills is having difficulty saying what you feel in a way that another person can understand and feel compassion towards. Usually people with lack of communication skills grew up in homes where they feared sharing how they feel OR their feelings did not matter.