Episode #43: What is the Most Common Communication Barriers?

Dr. Connie Omari
Hi, I’m Dr. Connie Omari, the clinician and owner of TED Talk therapy, where we provide Person Centered counseling through the use of technology.

So today, I have a tip for you. And the tip that I have for you, is going to give you a concrete example of the most of one of the most and I would argue, the most common barriers to communications in relationships.

Okay, I think it’s one of the biggest, basically miscommunications that exist when you’re communicating primarily with significant others, but probably family, friends, work environments, etc. It occurs in situations where two people might disagree more or less about something.

And I think the biggest thing is that people think that you have to agree on situations. And when you don’t agree there becomes this problem. So without further ado, I want to give you the word and then hopefully, the the definition and then a few tips that can help you to get on track so that you don’t participate in this big communication barrier.

So what’s the largest communication barrier that exists between two people when trying to communicate differences of opinion, validation? Now, why is validation so important?

Well, first of all, let’s begin with the definition. Validation is the recognition or affirmation that a person or their feelings or opinions are valid, or worthwhile. The reason that this is so important is because in situations where you might disagree with what the person is saying, it can be very easy for you to think that you have to agree or take a fits with what the other person is saying. But when this happens, it eliminates the ability to continue to communicate, because at this point where people feel like you’re not being heard, or they’re not being valid, they have a tendency to want to shut down, or either escalate and become more aggressive.

So the central part of whatever the communication is, or the conflict is, doesn’t get addressed. Because we’re so fixated on Okay, well, you think this, I think this, I’m right, you’re wrong, etc. And it gets out of control. I truly believe that as a clinician, if we got more comfortable with understanding of one another’s perspective, through validation, we’d have a lot better relationships.

So what are some tips and strategies to validate the other party? Well, first, you want to give verbal responses to show that you’re listening? This can be in the form of things like okay, Aha, I see. Anything that you can say more or less, that lets the person know that you understand where they’re coming from, not that you agree with where they’re coming from, but that you have an idea of where they’re coming from, and you want to hear that person out, right? Because guess what, when it’s your time to want to express yourself, you’re also going to want them to hear you.

Another clue that she can use or another tip that you can use is body language to so that you’re listening. So for instance, if you’re doing something like folding laundry, or cooking, maybe you could stop or if you’re doing work like I’m a workaholic, so But putting your computer side putting your iPad aside and making eye contact with them, just enough to let them know, hey, whatever it is that you’re saying is important to me. And I whether or not I agree with you, because again, this isn’t about agreement. And this is about respect, understanding and validating. Number three, stay present. Okay, this doesn’t mean, okay, someone present something to you about something you did today. And your response is, oh, well, you did this to me, five, five weeks ago, you know, or six months ago, no, this is about being present in this moment.

And validating whatever it is, the person is saying when you do this, you open up a gateway for the other person to allow you and to be open to hear listen to you talk about whatever they did to you five weeks ago, etc. This can look like holding their hand looking at them directly in the eyes, maybe rubbing rubbing their back, or at least just saying I’m here and I’m not going to leave you number four respond to the general mood and energy level.

Okay, so if they’re really excited about something, get on their level, you don’t have to really care about it. I mean, I don’t care about a lot of the things that people tell me Forgive me if you’re a client and you are you know listening to this doesn’t mean I don’t care about you, but I’m I have my own things that I’m dealing with and that I’m invested in, but it’s part of my job to to support you and as part of what I do to support you, regardless of knob whether or not I’m interested in it. And that’s what really causes a great connection between people because it really doesn’t matter about what the what I think As long as the other person feels that a certain way, ask clarifying questions, is my next is my next tip.

So how did that make you feel? What did you think about that? These are great ways for you to help your, your significant other or your friend or your loved one to be able to say, Hey, this is what I experienced, this is what I felt. And given them an opportunity to further elaborate on what they’re talking about. A really weight to a great way of doing this is our next tip, which is to repeat their words back to them.

So you’re frustrated that the professor gave you so little warning? Well, that must have been hard. You know, these are some just really great ways that you can just repeat whatever it is back to them to really show that you’re understanding them, and that you’re hearing them. And finally strive to talk less and listen more. This definitely pertains to like giving advice, because a lot of times when people come to you, I know what I come to people often times already know what I’m gonna do. I’m just coming to you because I care about you. And I want to include you in my life and my choices, not because I’m looking for your advice, because chances are you probably have some issues too, that you might not can help me unless I specifically asked you to.

And furthermore, you know, in terms of asking questions, even, you might want to just allow the person to tell you what they want to tell you. And a lot of times the questions get answered anyway. So these are just a few quick tips that can help you to learn how to validate people more, I can assure you that if you just implement half of these, in the relationships that you have with people, especially when you’re having a conflict with them, your quality of your relationship will improve.