Destructive Communication Patterns
The following information is a section taken from the page "Communication Skills Parts 1".
While building productive communication skills, it is important to avoid destructive communication traps. The following communication patterns will cause harm and destruction. Be aware of them and avoid them.
- blaming the other person for problems. Accusations can produce defensiveness, argument, and insincere apologies
- name calling; putting the other person down; attacking the other person rather than attacking the problem
- aggression or physical abuse
- not treating the other person as an equal
- not staying focused on the issue you are discussing
- making threats
- withdrawing from the discussion because you are angry (on the other hand, it is healthy communication to say you are taking a 'time-out' if you feel too emotional to be productive)
- being indirect; not saying what you mean and talking around it
- being disrespectful, rude, thoughtless, or attacking
- arguing with the other person's feelings; invalidating the other's feelings; saying "You shouldn't feel that way" (a "You message")
- 'mind reading'- telling the other person what they are thinking or feeling; telling them why they behave as they do; not listening to their thoughts, feelings, and understanding of his/herself
- talking too loudly or making the message complicated
- one-upping the other person
- the 'Win-Lose Trap': This is when someone is trying to 'win' or prove the other person 'wrong', rather than communicating thoughts and feelings. Ask yourself, "Do I want to share my thoughts and feelings, and to learn theirs? Or do I want to prove my position is right, no matter the cost to the relationship? What is my intention? Do I want us to understand each other? The 'Win-Lose Trap' promotes distance and conflict; healthy communication promotes understanding and closeness.