5 Communication Styles That Can Gradually Ruin Your Relationship

by Adeola Adeyeye
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Communication Styles

Effective communication is the cornerstone of a healthy and thriving relationship. However, certain communication styles can unknowingly erode the foundation of even the strongest bonds. There are communication styles that, if left unchecked, can gradually undermine one’s relationship and it is important to identify them. By identifying these patterns and making conscious efforts to improve your communication, you can foster a stronger connection and prevent long-term damage in your relationship.

Passive Aggressive Communication

Passive-aggressive communication is characterized by indirect expressions of anger, frustration or resentment. Instead of openly addressing concerns, individuals use subtle sarcasm, backhanded compliments or silent treatment to convey their discontent. This style erodes trust and creates a toxic atmosphere of unspoken tension, as it prevents honest and open dialogue. Over time, passive-aggressive communication can lead to misunderstandings, unresolved conflicts and deep-seated resentment.

Constant Criticism

Constant criticism involves a communication style where one partner habitually finds faults and focuses on negative aspects of the other’s behaviour, appearance or choices. While constructive feedback is essential for personal growth, relentless criticism damages self-esteem, undermines confidence and creates a hostile environment. Over time, the recipient of constant criticism may feel devalued, leading to a breakdown in communication and emotional disconnection.


Stonewalling is a communication style characterized by withdrawing from or shutting down conversations. It often involves ignoring, avoiding eye contact or giving minimal responses, leaving the other partner feeling dismissed and unheard. This behaviour typically occurs as a defence mechanism to avoid conflict or to maintain control, but it effectively shuts down any productive communication. Over time, stonewalling can create emotional distance, breed frustration and hinder the resolution of issues.

Overbearing Dominance

In this communication style, one partner exerts dominance and control, leaving little room for the other person’s input or opinions. They may dismiss or override the other’s ideas, interrupt frequently or use aggressive language to assert their authority. Overbearing dominance stifles individuality, erodes self-esteem and prevents healthy compromise. It gradually chips away at the balance of power within the relationship, leading to resentment and a breakdown in trust and intimacy.

Lack of Active Listening

Effective communication involves active listening, which requires genuine attention, empathy and understanding. However, a lack of active listening can significantly hinder the quality of communication within a relationship. When one partner consistently fails to listen attentively, interrupts or dismisses the other’s feelings or concerns, it creates a sense of invalidation and frustration. Over time, the lack of active listening can result in emotional disconnection and feelings of loneliness within the relationship.

Healthy communication is the lifeblood of a successful relationship and recognizing destructive communication styles in your relationship is crucial for its preservation.  Open and respectful communication builds trust, strengthens emotional bonds and enables the growth and longevity of your relationship. So, take the time to reflect on your communication patterns, make conscious efforts to improve and watch as your relationship flourishes with understanding, empathy and mutual respect.

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[…] However, knowing how to communicate is even more important as there are communication ways that make the relationship worse. You should initiate an open and non-confrontational conversation with your partner and create a […]


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