Toxic Communication Style Versus Healthy Communication Style

You are worn out as you prepare for round three. You and your spouse have been engaged in this conflict for what feels like an eternity, and it appears that you will be fighting it out until the very end. Every round that comes and goes is fruitless but getting worse by the minute. There comes a time when there doesn’t seem to be a way out. “Is this going to work?” you then question yourself. You visualize the connection and start to question whether things would ever improve.

Partner communication can be a well balanced dance. The interaction might appear graceful and harmonic when it is coordinated. A partner, however, may find it difficult to get back on their feet and into rhythm if one step is out of step. What transpires then when one spouse dances the waltz and the other partner dances the tango? It turns into a complete chaos of a show, which might make viewers feel uneasy and strange. The dancers may also feel worn out and dissatisfied.

Cognitive and emotional communicators

Individuals communicate in a variety of ways. Think about communicators who are both cognitive and emotional. Emotional communicators use their feelings, interpretations, and “heart” to guide their communication. They may express their emotions both orally and nonverbally by sobbing, laughing, and, in certain situations, yelling (to mention a few). The situation itself may not be the main focus but rather the responses. Cognitive communicators use logic, reason, and fact to support their arguments. Cognitive communicators will concentrate on concepts and solutions rather than how the situation impacts them personally. They may express their thoughts and ideas verbally, but when they’re confused or angry, they may communicate nonverbally.

Let’s consider the following case: A teenager’s parents are at odds over how to handle him after he returned home 15 minutes past curfew. The mother attempts to ground their son for the full weekend because she thinks it’s important to keep clear limits. The father advises that they issue him a warning and take away his cell phone for one night since he believes in understanding each circumstance individually in order to uncover potential exceptions. A clearly distressed mother accuses her spouse of never being there for her and of not appreciating her maternal instincts.

The father, who seems perplexed, adds that the kid had a solid track record of being on time up until this evening and had a legitimate cause for being late today. The interaction becomes more heated as they quarrel. The mother leaves the talk and enters her room while sobbing, closing and locking the door behind her. The father shrugs his shoulders and starts watching his television program after interpreting his wife’s actions as signs that she needs solitude. With no answer and great annoyance, they retire to bed. The lines of communication are now down.

(The statement that women are more likely to communicate emotionally and men more often to communicate cognitively is not intended to be taken as generalization. Everyone has a different way of communicating, regardless of gender. Furthermore, it is very advised that all caregivers work together to choose the best method of discipline for each kid.

Despite the fact that there is only one triggering event in this instance, there are two unique and independent dialogues taking place. In this instance, the mother is arguing for acceptance and unity. Her main concern is communicating how she feels ignored. The father is debating how to treat their youngster reasonably while also finding the greatest solution to the issue at hand. A waltz. A tango. All in all, it was a perplexing, eccentric, disjointed, and aggravating mess.

Love Expressions

The five love languages that Gary Chapman identified as having an impact on a person’s relationships include words of affirmation, deeds of service, receiving presents, quality time, and physical touch. Individuals have their own versions of these languages, which reflect how they express their love and anticipate receiving it from others. Partners can have different love languages, much like emotional and cognitive communicators, which can affect their communication and relationship.

Using words of affection and closeness is referred to as using words of affirmation. Acts of service are behaviors that a person may exhibit to show his or her concern and love. Receiving gifts emphasizes thoughtfulness rather than materialism, which is what goes into giving and receiving gestures of affection. Having uninterrupted time to connect with one another can be considered quality time. Physical touch is a term used to describe the behavioural actions that convey intimacy and passion.

A relationship’s love languages may also vary, which may affect how likely it is that communication may fail. For instance, one spouse can use words of affection to define love and demand that their partner reciprocate with similar sentiments. On the other hand, their loved one can utilize charitable deeds as a sign of his or her dedication and devotion. The former may not see their partner’s initiative to fold the laundry or clean their car as a sign of devotion and may feel neglected and distant. Because the activities aren’t acknowledged or affirmed, his or her spouse could then feel devalued or minimized. Similar to the parents in the earlier example who are trying to discipline their child, the mother may feel belittled because her partner has started watching his sporting event, but he has the best of intentions as he sees her actions as a request for privacy and space.

Does this imply that a couple who communicates differently is doomed to failure? Without a doubt. The wise mind hypothesis holds that the best viewpoint is one that blends passion with rationality. How then can this all function? Attempting the next actions could be beneficial:

1. Recognize that your communication styles vary.

Simple acknowledgement can help people have more reasonable expectations of one another.Recognizing that you can’t alter the actions or perspectives of others is another aspect of acceptance. When one person tries to explain their feelings to the other while the other is attempting to support the logic of their solutions, communication breakdown may result.

2. Validation doesn’t imply understanding.

The phrases “I understand that you are angry” and “I understand why you are angry” are not the same thing. Simply said, validating means that you understand what your spouse is attempting to say. You might not concur. You might believe it to be absurd or unimportant. However, you are expressing that you are paying attention.

3. Take the time to address both styles.

Discuss the feelings that have been voiced for a while before addressing the justification that was also mentioned. By doing this, you raise the possibility of agreement and cooperation. You are treating one another fairly. You reestablish a unified front. The champion tag team without a loss. Regardless of what you want to call yourself.

4. Sometimes the message—not the delivery—is what matters.

It can be simpler for us to pay attention to the behaviors at times than the message or goal. Instead of seeking alternative explanations that center on our partner’s ideas, we may perceive interactions based on our own beliefs and values. When our emotions are high, it can be challenging to remember that our partners’ acts or behaviors most likely do not intend to cause us harm or discomfort. But it might be useful in lowering communication barriers that might be preventable.

5. Be grateful.

Spend some time thanking one another for pondering a notion or emotion that is outside of your normal range. Say “thank you” for your time.

Different communication methods can strengthen or weaken your relationship. You have the option of enhancing or destroying one another. It is not doomed to failure or despair. While thrilling and intense, being in a relationship also calls for each individual to display a level of vulnerability that can be unsettling. Despite our desire to avoid harm, we occasionally put ourselves in danger. That’s where trust develops and is based. We are still individuals who have formed our communication styles and patterns over the course of our lives based on our interactions with family, friends, coworkers, and strangers, despite the fact that we work together as a team. We all exhibit these patterns, and it is doubtful that they will change.

You acknowledge that you may be stronger in one dance and your partner may be stronger in another by acknowledging each other’s different communication styles. To reflect fluidity and grace, though, you are using both of your abilities when you dance together.