The downward spiral.
Some types of behaviour can increase the risk of relationship difficulties.
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|What poor communication looks like:||How you can protect against it:|
|Criticism||Criticism isn’t the same as complaining. It’s a direct attack on your partner. “You only think about yourself.”||Try starting a sentence with “I...” and asking for what you need. “I was worried last night. I’d like it if you could text me when you’re going to be late.”|
|Contempt||Contempt is when we are deliberately mean. We might use name-calling, or sarcasm, or roll our eyes to show we’re not interested.||Try to focus on what you love about each other. Look for opportunities to pay each other compliments and do things together that you both enjoy.|
|Defensiveness||Defensiveness is usually a response to criticism. We deflect blame onto the other person. “I’ve been busy. Why couldn’t you do it?”||Try to see things from each other’s point of view. Take responsibility and say sorry when you’re in the wrong.|
|Stonewalling||Stonewalling is when we get so overwhelmed that we shut down completely, blanking our partner, or walking out of the room.||Try to be good to yourself. Take some time out to do something relaxing and enjoyable.|