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7 Common Communication Habits that Damage your Relationship

communication patternsShort post today about some simple communication patterns that harm your relationship.

It’s extremely important to put a stop to these, especially if you are married or in a long-term relationship. Enduring a stressful relation actually takes years off your life, according to research.

Each of the following patterns is simple and easy to identify. Most of them are poor communication habits that a lot of us tend to do on autopilot.

What you may not realize is that these communication habits are poison to an intimate relationship, friendship, or any relationship that should be based on mutual respect.

The challenge is to notice and stop yourself from doing them. It’s all too easy to get annoyed when they are done to you, right? But if you can hold yourself accountable as well, then you’ll be in a new position of power, which is a great thing!

My thanks go to Jake Eagle of for helping me identify these patterns. Jake and his wife, Hannah, are co-developers of the renowned Dating, Relating and Mating online couple education program.

1. Rolling eyes when your partner talks.

You might as well just call the other person a complete idiot. Few things are as dismissive as rolling your eyes when another is talking to you.

Of course, you may not like what they are saying. What you are being told may be unreasonable, sure. Rolling your eyes isn’t a solution to this issue, however. It usually only makes things worse.

2. Walking out of the room when you partner is talking.

There are times to leave a room. You must remove yourself from volatile situations, so don’t get this one mixed up.

Many people leave the room, however, when they simply don’t like what they are hearing. Men, for example, often just walk out when their wives raise any issue that they don’t want to deal with.

How come you’ve been slacking around the house? Where did you go after work? I need you to talk to me more.
A lot of guys just check out at this point. Not helpful!

3. Auto-pilot peck on the lip kisses.

This one seems harmless enough. But it may not be so harmless if you think about it. Autopilot kisses may not hurt, but they certainly do not say, “I’m am totally in love with you!”

If you are going to kiss your lover, even if it isn’t a make out session, why not take an extra moment and make it real?

4. Arguing about what your partner tells you he or she feels.

This one is mind-boggling, but we’ve all done it at some point. Telling your partner that he or she is wrong for having certain feelings.

True, some feelings are based on an inaccurate interpretation of reality. Still, accusing someone of wrongdoing isn’t the way out.

She: I’m feeling jealous because there was a pretty woman at the party and you noticed her.

He: Well, you’re crazy if you think I did anything.

She: Why are you getting defensive, then?

He: There you go again! You need to just let this jealousy stuff go!

Ineffective. Harmful. Damaging to trust.

It is better to validate feelings before attempting to clear things up. For example:

She: I’m feeling jealous because there was a pretty woman at the party and you noticed her.

He: Oh, I’m sorry you are feeling that way. That must be difficult.

She: Yeah, I just can’t help but think that if there is another pretty woman, that you must be interested in her.

He: Do you think I really am interested?

She: No, it just feels bad. I know I need to work on this…

This outcome is MUCH more likely if you validate the others’ feelings, even if they are irrational. Of course, if the feelings are based on the truth, then you’ve got some work of your own to do, which is a good thing to recognize.

5. Either person refusing to apologize.

Some many of us would rather be self-righteous than happy. Refusing to admit a mistake does serious damage to any intimate relationship. How can you be close to someone who cares infinitely more about their own ego than they care about establishing mutual respect?

If you cannot apologize, you will find it very hard to be close.

6. Sarcasm.

Sarcasm is “a sharp, bitter, or cutting expression or remark; a bitter taunt.”

Being sarcastic can be funny. And it is easy to be sarcastic about the state of the economy, government, or any system.

However, when you are sarcastic toward the one you love, it hurts. Even when the other doesn’t show hurt, rest assured that sarcasm is cutting it’s through to the heart and leaving a scar.

After years of sarcasm at someone’s expense, intimacy is out the window.

7. Bickering. “You said X.” “No I didn’t.”

Pointless bickering creates a rocky relationship. Does it really matter who said what and when? Isn’t it more important to figure out where you are NOW and move forward?

Bickering is another major roadblock to intimacy, one the blames the other person. Of course, this leads to mutual blame and destroys peace of mind.

What if you committed to stop bickering, start cooperating and simple-mindedly began looking for solutions to resolve the situation you find yourself in now?

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7 Common Communication Habits that Damage your Relationship

Mike Bundrant

Mike Bundrant is the author of Your Achilles Eel: Discover and Overcome the Hidden Cause of Negative Emotions, Bad Decisions and Self-Sabotage and co-founder at The iNLP Center which offers online certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and life coaching.

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APA Reference
Bundrant, M. (2013). 7 Common Communication Habits that Damage your Relationship. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 27, 2020, from


Last updated: 19 Nov 2013
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