Dysfunctional communication skills that hold us back in relationships

Published on Nov 10, 2022 03:12 PM IST

From shaming to deflecting the conflict, here are a few dysfunctional communication skills which we should try to unlearn with time.

Dysfunctional communication skills that hold us back in relationships(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Dysfunctional communication skills that hold us back in relationships(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
ByTapatrisha Das, Delhi

In relationships, the words and the actions we use to communicate with the other person are indicative in nature, and very important. The way we communicate is picked up by us through our upbringing, the homes we have been brought up in and the way we have seen our family communicate. Hence, we learn to follow the way they do. This way of communication can be healthy, or not, depending on the way our families communicated. Addressing this, Psychologist Nicole LePera wrote, “One of the most detrimental impacts of growing up in a codependent home is the way we learn to communicate. Or maybe more accurate: we don’t learn how to communicate. These are some patterns to be aware of when there’s conflict in your relationships. Of course, we all do these things to varying degrees. Especially projection— this is just human behavior. But, it’s helpful to understand them, to witness when you engage in them, and to practice getting out of your habit reactions to conflict.”

ALSO READ: Things to do after an argument: Therapist shares tips

Nicole further noted down a few communication skills which are dysfunctional in nature, and hold us back in relationships. She suggested that we try to unlearn these skills with time:

Shaming: Making the other person believe that the way they feel is wrong, rather than being responsible for the way we behave in making themselves feel that way.

Projecting: There are traits in us which we do not like. However, in our defense mechanism, we start to portray the same traits and blame the other person for behaving that way.

Scorekeeping: In conflicts, when we start to bring up traumas of the past and the actions that each of us have done to hurt each other, is scorekeeping. This takes the focus away from the matter at hand and makes us believe that we need to win the argument by scoring up from the other person.

Silent treatment: Shutting down, not responding or ghosting a person just to avoid a difficult conversation can make a relationship toxic.

Deflection: Continuously distracting from the matter at hand in order to avoid personal responsibilities, can cause trauma in the relationship.

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