Common Communication Barriers

Communication in relationships is one of the biggest challenges that people need to deal with today. Whenever you put two people together in a relationship, they each bring different values, beliefs, expectations, history, education, agendas, goals, personality style, communication style, feelings, life outlook and old baggage to each and every interaction.

It is difficult, at best, to communicate effectively with another person with each of these unique life outlooks, agendas and differences. The keys to better communication in a relationship are recognizing these differences, and the willingness to be flexible, accepting, understanding and non-judgmental of the other person's views, opinions or communication style.

Almost always, the root of communication difficulty can be found in any one of the previous areas.
The first step in improving communication with another person is to look inward rather than outward for the cause of the problem. This is not always easy, as we tend to "fall in love" with our own views, opinions and attitudes. As far as most of us are concerned it is not me but you that has the problem! You must be willing to take at least 50 percent of the responsibility of the quality of your overall communication.
Here are a few things to consider as you try and create an open, honest and nurturing climate in your relationship.

1. Do not invalidate the other person by your words or actions.

2. Listen to them without an agenda or expectations.

3. Observe your own non-verbal signals while your partner is talking.

4. Look for their real intent and bypass his or her delivery.

5. Avoid negative words that can sting the other person.

6. All anger is rooted in fear so look beneath the anger and ask yourself –

what is my partner afraid of?

7. Lean to be an encourager.

8. Give frequent verbal appreciation.

9. Do not interrupt them.

10. Ask probing open ended questions.

11. Keep eye contact.

12. Avoid dealing in blame or finger pointing.

Remember that most people are doing the best they can with what they have at their disposal at the present time. And do not forget that when you judge another person, these judgments say more about who you are than who he or she is.