Therapist Panel on LOVE: 4 communication styles to avoid for a happy relationship

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Three therapists with Lifestone Counseling talk to us about communication pitfalls many couples face. For more information, go here.

Recognize the 4 Warning Signs of Destructive Communication:

  1. CRITICISM: attacking with judgmental language, using absolutes, and “you” language.
  2. DEFENSIVENESS: language that blames, denies, excuses, lack of listening, empathizing, acting the tough-guy or perfectionist character. Toughness and perfectionism is not about healthy relationships and growth. It is about defensiveness, avoiding blame and shame, and hiding one’s true self (Brene’ Brown).
  3. CONTEMPT: Psychological abuse, insults directed at the heart of your partner’s sense of self-worth.
  4. STONEWALLING: shutting down, avoiding, stony silence, negating other.

Successful couples communicate more positives than negatives by a ratio of 5:1 and know how to manage conflict.