Beware the Enemies of Effective Communication

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Beware the Enemies of Effective Communication

No matter how much you really want and need to get your point across to your partner, there are a number of methods of communication that are strictly off limits.  Using them will get you nowhere productive. These methods include, but are not limited to the following:

·     Sarcasm
·     Mockery
·     Name-calling
·     Contempt

When you are sarcastic toward your partner, you create a couple of issues.  First, if you are both upset, s/he may not realize that you’re being sarcastic to begin with.  You may not be discussing the same issue in the end and you may have no idea where the other is coming from.  Second, sarcasm can be a way of belittling your partner during an argument.  True, it may be a slightly more sophisticated method of condescension than used on the average elementary schoolyard, but it’s playing dirty nonetheless.

Mockery, be it in pretending that you’re on your partner’s “side” when you aren’t, or be it speaking in your partner’s voice, is flat-out mean and is therefore out of bounds. Name-calling may be as low as one could go in this field and shouldn’t really be included in the same ballpark as communication. 

Calling names can include foul language or calling the other any number of terms, and as adults, you should both be sensitive to what is unacceptable here.  Just pull back a minute and think first – what would your reaction be to having these titles hurled in your direction?

Last is the hardest to resist, because in polite society, some may find it passable.  This is when you dig up all the dirt from the beginning of your relationship and even predating that.  Really, what’s the purpose?  Just making him/her feel worse won’t make your partner open up and help solve the issue. 

Think a few times before you let the temptation grab your mouth and whip out those damaging words.

·     Is this going to help us deal with the issue?
·     Is it hurtful for no reason?
·     Is it disrespectful to my partner?

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