How Fear Derails Healthy Communication in Your Relationship

As reported by Psychology Today, lack of communication is one of the leading causes of failed relationships among couples, friends, and siblings. While many factors cause poor communication in a relationship, fear remains a significant factor that keeps one or both parties from expressing their feelings. Other factors include a lack of interest, trust issues, and mental health problems. Read on to learn more about how fear derails communication in your relationship and ways to overcome it.

How Fear Derails Communication

Generally, fear is an enemy of healthy communication between two parties. It may manifest in the form of avoiding certain conversations, being hesitant to speak out your feelings, becoming overly aggressive, or playing the victim. Most such instances emanate from past experiences of unfaithfulness, low self-esteem, and fear of the consequences of speaking out such as outbursts, according to the University of Illinois Counseling Center. If fear is the only thing limiting the way you communicate with your partner, you can overcome it by ensuring greater safety. Take note that one or both parties may experience fear. Therefore make sure to consider the common interests of both the parties before initiating the conversation.

Key Principles of Safety

Safety acts as one of the most effective antidotes to fear in a relationship. This means that you should help your partner feel safe in communicating freely. For example, you can assure them that you only want to resolve the conflict and make your relationship healthier instead of passing judgment on your partner. You can promote safety and confidence in your relationship in the following ways.

• Patience – Everyone goes through a rough patch at some point in their life. In a relationship context, your partner could be holding back because of their situation. Therefore, it’s prudent to be patient and encourage them to get over their hesitation while making them feel secure.

• Humility – A recent study from the University of California found that a humble person tends to resolve conflicts easily and communicate better. If you show your partner that you can stay calm and listen to their opinion, they will feel safe to confide in you.

• Respect – This is a virtue that applies both in your daily lives as a couple and in your communication skills. No matter how hurt you feel, always control your emotions, and speak to your partner respectfully to make them feel safe. You should also respect their opinions and create a level ground for communication to thrive.

• Acknowledgment – The best way to enable your partner to heal is by acknowledging their pain and helping them through it. Additionally, you should accept your mistakes as an opportunity to improve yourself.

• Integrity – If you have been unfaithful or deceived your partner in the past, chances are high that he/she will not trust you. This, in turn, will greatly affect your communication. Thankfully, proving that you have regained integrity can help.

• Kindness – Being kind to your partner tends to make him/her feel loved, cared for, and appreciated. This will help them to feel safe.

• Perspective – According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), empathy is an essential ingredient in enhancing communication. Try to view issues from your partner’s perspective and help them overcome the fear that is derailing your communication.

A healthy relationship is one of the keys to good mental and physical health. To improve your relationship, use these tips to get rid of the fear that prevents healthy communication. To learn more about vitality and living in your prime, contact Genesis Performance today. We will help you fit exercise and wellness practices into your current schedule and inspire you to reach optimal health. We help clients across the nation virtually and are ready to help you get started today.

Jenna Dillon

Founder & CEO

Jenna is an Executive Coach committed to working with high performing individuals and companies who are up to exploring what they’re capable of achieving within their lives, careers, company culture and leadership. She is passionate about empowering her clients - standing with them and for them - so they have the tools to create extraordinary results.