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How to Avoid Lack of Communication in a Relationship

by Stacey Elkins, studioD

Lack of communication creates conflict and distance between people. When communication is decreased in a relationship, satisfaction will also decrease, according to Marcelina Hardy, a relationship coach and author of “Relationships and Communication: It’s Time to Start Talking Again.” Preventing communication problems between yourself and your significant other can lead to a more satisfying and rewarding relationship. Improving your communication skills is instrumental in avoiding lack of communication.

Make Communication a Priority

Put effort into daily communication. Cooperating, compromising and meeting another individual’s expectations is hard if you don’t know their feelings about certain things, says California State University Long Beach’s Health Resource Center in “Love and Communication in Relationships.” Don’t make assumptions about how your partner feels. This can lead to misunderstandings and arguments. Don’t limit your conversation to surface talk, such as what you are having for dinner or what you are doing over the weekend. Talk about your feelings, both positive and negative and encourage your partner to share her feelings.


One of the most vital aspects of good communication is listening, says HelpGuide.org in “Effective Communication.” Actively listen to your partner and give him your undivided attention. Avoid distractions such as the television, checking text messages and answering the phone. Let him talk without interruption or judgment. Show interest in what he is saying and encourage him to talk by maintaining eye contact, nodding your head and smiling. According to California State University Long Beach’s Health Resource Center, showing interest in what your significant other says will make him feel closer to you.

Nonverbal Communication

In order for your communication to be genuine, both verbal and nonverbal communication need to be consistent, says Sam Owen, a psychologist and author of “Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication – Impact on Relationships.” For example, if you tell your partner you’re sorry while crossing your arms and scowling, it does not come across as a sincere apology. When verbal and nonverbal communication is not consistent, it gives mixed messages. Nonverbal cues, such as the way you look, listen, move and respond, show how you are feeling more than words alone do, according to HelpGuide.org. Pay attention to your nonverbal cues and make sure they are congruent with what you are saying.


When communicating, be direct, open and honest. Don’t communicate when you are angry or solely when there is a problem. Use “I” statements, such as “I feel hurt,” rather than “You hurt me,” to avoid pointing blame. Don’t give the silent treatment. If you need time to cool off or gather your thoughts, make your partner aware. When you are calm, initiate a conversation.

About the Author

Stacey Elkins is a writer based in Chicago. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and a Masters in social work from the University of Illinois in Chicago, where she specialized in mental health.

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