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Next Time You Have A Breakdown In Communication, Consider This…

Posted Dec 20 2008 5:52pm

When a woman falls in love with a man, he makes her feel safe, protected, and cherished.  She makes him feel seen and respected.  These gifts we give each other satisfy ancient longings housed in our biology.  They are why we trust each other so quickl y, connect so deeply, and start planning for the future! 

Moving From Trust & Fulfillment to Irritation & Frustration

At some point, couples move from this position of trust and fulfillment to irritation and frustration.  It is as if a pendulum swings them back and forth, sometimes against their will.  Maybe it begins with simple things. 

For instance, one is a slob and the other is a neat freak.  These differences started out being cute but aren’t anymore!  Eventually, she will drive him nuts wanting to talk about the relationship. 

He will make her worried and insecure withdrawing at every attempt she makes to talk.  Before you know it, they feel like enemies to each other either some of the time or all of the time. 

Breakdowns in Communication

The next time your relationship suffers from a breakdown in communication, consider what drew you to each other in the first place.  For her, feeling safe, protected and cherished satisfy deep, fundamental needs.  For him, feeling seen and respected satisfies deep, fundamental needs. 

Instead of putting your attention on what you are not getting from your partner, put your attention on what you once gave and try giving it again.

Personality Conflicts and Communication

My husband, Joseph, and I have a personality conflict that contributes to breakdowns in communication.  It has occurred to me that addressing the personality conflict isn’t the way to improve the situation. 

If we go there, we will wind up monitoring each other and/or ourselves, adding to the frustration and contributing to an even bigger breakdown!  Instead, focusing on what we originally gave each other in this situation might just save us a lot of heartache.

What the Personality Conflict Looks Like

The personality conflict looks like this.  I have a very active mind.  Whenever anyone speaks to me, they are intruding on my thoughts.  This means that for the first few seconds of conversation, I am in two places at once in my mind.  I’m finishing up my thoughts and beginning to pay attention to the person speaking to me

Things can get lost in translation because of my active mind!  

In addition, my sharp mind prefers details.  Instead of telling me something like, “That was the best hamburger I’ve had in a long time,” when it’s been a couple of days since that hamburger was eaten; I prefer more details such as, “Remember when we ate at the Stony Knob Diner last week and I had a hamburger and fries? 

That was the best hamburger I’ve had in months.  We need to go back there soon!”  I realize people don’t talk like that.  Folks pick and choose from hundreds of thoughts to share and often begin mid-sentence.  I speak like that because details matter to me.  See, it’s just a personality issue. 

It Isn’t Personal

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