Speak No Evil, Hear No Evil

Especially in terms of close relationships of familial, friendly, and romantic natures, it is likely for people to disagree with or misinterpret each other. It is even more likely for these people to develop a conflict because of the misunderstanding. 

If you find yourself in that situation often, here's three ways you might be miscommunicating in your close relationships, and how you can try to fix it.

Approach Not Reproach

When speaking to others that you care about, especially of differing ages or genders, there can be a communication barrier between not just what you're saying, but how you're saying it. 

One source stated that “tone” is one of the most common forms of miscommunication. 

A recommendation could be taking time to understand the other person’s points of sensitivity, and trying your best to avoid them during conversations. 

This could be done by observing things that trigger your friend or partner in public encounters such as conversation topics or certain tones of voice, and in turn do your best to treat those triggers with care during communication.

The Blame Game

 A lot of people have the tendency to force the blame onto others when their bad behavior is acknowledged. 

Another source stated that “blaming” was one of the seven main types of miscommunication. 

Taking accountability for your actions in a relationship can be key, and when avoided can lead to a build up of suppressed resentment.

A healthy, non-conflict way to accomplish this goal without coming across as self-pitying or unapologetic that I use often is starting the sentence with “I understand” statements. 

For example saying something like “I understand that when I interrupted you it made you feel like I wasn’t listening to you” and ending the sentence with reasoning and an apology such as, “I interrupted you because I got excited about my thoughts and I'm sorry that it made you feel unheard.” 

The final and most important aspect of taking accountability is following it up with a change in behavior. Do your best to include an “I will try to” statement in reference to the future, and then make a conscious effort to actually spend time on improving the negative behaviors, for the sake of your partner and in spite of your ego. 

Agree To Disagree

It is important to understand that you can disagree without arguing. The easiest way to accomplish this is by trying to understand each other’s thoughts rather than change them. 

People don't like being told they are wrong, but if you present your thoughts as subjective rather than definitive, the other person will most likely feel as though there is more room for conversation. 

For example,  try beginning a sentence with ‘I think’ versus ‘I know’, for the sake of being patient with the conversation, even if you do, if fact, ‘know’.

Relationships take time, effort, compromise and personal growth, but loving others and being loved makes it all worthwhile.