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Home / Relationships

Six communication patterns that hurt relationships

 How you communicate plays a role in the health of your relationship (Photo: Shutterstock)

Communication can make or break your relationship. 

Whether you use literal words, behaviour, body language or facial expressions, believe it or not we are constantly communicating with each other.

If you find it hard to effectively get your feelings across, soon your intimacy, love and stability will be shaken. Before you know it, you have grown apart.

The right communication style on the other hand will determine the longevity and success of your relationship. When you feel that your partner listens and understands you it brings you closer together.

Failure to do so will lead to irreconcilable differences, resentment and other issues that could lead to breakups or divorce.

Here are communication patterns you may be using that could be hurting your relationships. Yelling

If this does not work with your toddler there is no way it will be effective with your partner. No matter how annoyed you may be, avoid raising your voice to get your point across.

What this only does is to provoke the other person to shut down or become defensive. Although you may be trying to get a valid point across the offensive delivery will shift focus on what you’re saying to how you’re saying it thus having zero effect.

Being argumentative

At times you must pick your battles and you don’t always have to be right. Once in a while just let it go for the peace of your relationship.

If you have a partner that is argumentative and your conversations always end up in never ending debates, it is best to be calm. This will allow them to see their aggressive behavior and ease the tension. 

 There are those who attack the character or personality of their partner instead of handling the issue at hand (Photo: Shutterstock)


For couples who play dirty, they tend to attack the character or personality of their partner instead of handling the issue at hand.

If this is not checked it can lead to contempt. Your partner will start feeling assaulted and rejected by how you communicate.

Instead of using generalities like, ‘you never help me,’ or ‘you’re so…..’ express your dissatisfaction with simple complaints that point towards the specific behavior or situation. For instance, you can say, ‘I’m upset with you….’

Say it in a gentle way and let them know what you need them to understand.


If your partner is always breaking down whenever you bring up a serious issue, chances are your conversations will never go anywhere.

They always pull out the victim card making you feel guilty and unable to address any problems that involve them.

 Some people withdraw and stop engaging as a way to punish their partner (Photo: Shutterstock)

Silent treatment

During a conflict or disagreement some partners react by walking away without any warning or completely ignore the other person and act as if they don’t exist.

They totally withdraw and stop engaging as a way to punish and reject the other person. No matter how bad the situation may be, this will have a negative effect on your relationship.

Unless you need space to calm down do not remove yourself from that conversation. Talk it out and find a resolution.

Failing to listening

While it is understandable that you may get angry or sad at one point when having a discussion with your partner, just listen even when they annoy you.

Instead of arguing to beat the other person, tackle the problem and aim to understand it. Do not rush to defend yourself without listening first or it will only escalate the matter.

If you have a problem with keeping quiet and giving the other person room to express their feelings, train yourself to listen.

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