What happens when communication breaks down?
WHAT IS IT
A communication breakdown is defined as a failure to exchange information, resulting in a lack of communication.
In communication with others you may sometimes feel that there are tensions, or that you are moving away from certain people for certain reasons or sometimes without even realizing it. Conflicts are created because of communication breakdowns, between couples, colleagues, friends or family, most of the time this is due to bad habits we have developed with others.
We've all been there: you think you said something to someone and you didn't, or the way you said something led the listener to misinterpret your meaning. It happens all the time. Most of the time it is not serious and can be easily corrected. Unfortunately, sometimes it can cause a problem, hurt someone or make them angry. It can become an even bigger problem if it happens often.
WHY IT HAPPENS
Differences in perception: Perception is generally the way each individual interprets the world around them, so it is different for everyone, but any message that goes against their values is not accepted. The same event can be perceived differently by different individuals.
Information overload : When one is surrounded by a lot of information it is essential to control it, otherwise it could be misinterpreted, forgotten or neglected. As a result, communication is less effective.
Inattention: Sometimes we don't listen, we only hear. You realize that most of the time you are there in front of someone but you don't really listen you hear what the person is saying, it echoes something in your own life and your thoughts wander then in an egocentric way. Or you will be tempted to interrupt the person and advise them with your personal experience, in doing so you forget that every human being is different, that there is no right or wrong way to live because each one decides his own.
Distraction/noise : Communication is also greatly affected by noise and distractions. Distractions such as uncomfortable posture, an external situation hinders your conversation, an action happens elsewhere, a message, a call, all sorts of things can disrupt communication.
Emotions : The emotional state at any given time also affects communication. The mood you are in when you say something defines its intention, for example, if you look happy when you say something the person in front of you will think you are saying something beneficial.
Low retention: Human memory cannot function beyond a certain limit. You cannot always remember what is said, especially if you are not interested or not paying attention. This leads to a breakdown in communication.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
It seems that blaming others, not assuming, learning new tools for building healthy relationships such as active listening, negotiating for a win-win compromise, compassion for your partner's weaknesses as well as your own, and most importantly, the truth.
When you feel that the discussion is becoming complex ask yourself the question "Do I want to win and prove my point or do I want to develop a connection with this person?
Observe the person, listen to them carefully and above all try not to get lost in your thoughts while listening to them, when this happens, become aware and return to listening carefully, don't hesitate to ask questions to get back to the subject of the conversation.
Prefer face to face communication rather than by phone, computer etc. Messages are often better perceived when accompanied by facial expressions, gestures, interactions.
When a problem arises it is important to discuss it with the person concerned, acknowledge that there has been a lack of communication between you, information that has not been clear and try to find solutions together to return to frank and direct communication.
Warn that this is likely to happen in a conversation, if something is bothering you about what the person has just said, don't bounce back by being aggressive, calmly explain that you don't think the same thing but that you understand that points of view may be different and that this is not serious.
SOME QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF
- Are you trying to control the conversations?
- Are you aware of the feelings you have in your body when you control conversations? These are often nervousness, tension, adrenaline in a conflict or even a sense of urgency.
- What feelings do you have when you meet a new person?
- Do you feel threatened when you meet someone who is more successful than you?
- Do you tend to hold back in conversations or take a passive role because you lack confidence or don't know how to participate fully?
- Do you vent your feelings, opinions and frustrations to your spouse, family, friends, colleagues, or even your boss?
- Do you have a habit of hiding your feelings from others, whether by being serious, withdrawn or withdrawn, hyper and talkative, or by making jokes and being glib?
- What percentage of your conversation with others seems genuine to you?
- How often do you share your truth and feel open to the truths of others?
- How much of your conversation with others involves saying what you think they would like to hear, "selling" you, or trying to make a good impression?
- Do you turn your head away when you talk to someone or look at them?
With all these questions you should be clearer about how you communicate with others and you should be able to easily identify what is good behaviour from bad, see what you want to fix and do things accordingly. Being aware of your behaviour is the first step in evolution, your relationships with others will only get better.
If you want to discuss your communication problems with people from all over the world by learning other languages you can go to the language exchange page of our site.
Written by: Lisa Lambert; Staff Writer
- 13 Mar, 2020
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