- Criticism: When we complain about our partner in ways that insinuate faults in their character, they are likely to feel threatened and become defensive.
Try This Instead: Express your feelings starting with an “I” statement including a positive need. (“I would like it if you would ask me about my day.”) This gives your partner a chance to make a change you both feel better about.
- Defensiveness: When we avert a perceived attack or portray ourselves as innocent victims, we exacerbate the dysfunctional communication pattern.
Try This Instead: Accept responsibility for your part in the situation and show your partner that you can see their point of view. It is important that both you and your partner feel heard and understood.
- Contempt: When we demonstrate through our words and actions that we feel disdainful of our partner, we destroy any sense of security, respect, or affection in the relationship
Try This Instead: Express you’re your appreciation for your partner; talk about your feelings and need. Make reassuring physical contact (hold hands, put your arm around them) to show you are their friend and ally, not their enemy.
- Stonewalling: When we emotionally retreat from the conversation, turn out back on our partner, or leave the room, it is an attempt to calm ourselves. However, it gives the impression that we don’t care.
Try This Instead: Develop awareness of intense emotions and how to manage.
Don’t continue these destructive patterns, learn how to improve your communication skills and your relationships- contact a therapist at Yurk Counseling Services today!
Love yourself, you deserve it!