Couple Communication & Conflict Resolution
Donna Kimmel, PhD, 2/14/2017
Every couple in conflict I’ve seen pleads for help with communication. Yet in spite of learning and practicing (in the office and presumably at home) several different strategies for clear communication, conflict and frustration often persist. The problem is usually not in communication itself, but in how one behaves in relationship with others.
Lack of respect for and tolerance of difference is one of the culprits. A different point of view is intolerable. In other words, the message receiver almost immediately disagrees with what the message sender is saying. The message receiver doesn’t permit the message sender to have his or her own point of view. One person basically invalidates the other’s way of thinking.
The second common non-communication factor that interferes with good communication is lack of respect for the other person. In this situation one person denigrates the other’s reported experience. The responder insults, criticizes and/or demeans the emotion and feelings attached to the message maker’s expressed experience.
Without tolerance for a different point of view as well as acceptance and respect for other’s experiences, all the communication skill in the world won’t improve a relationship.