What Are the Main Causes of Miscommunication in Relationships?

If you believe that people who have known each other for a long time understand each other better than casual interlocutors, then you are wrong. If the other person does not understand you, the problem is in you, not in them. What is miscommunication? Sometimes everyone falls into the trap of such a phenomenon as the illusion of transparency. This happens when you just overestimate your own ability to understand others and how others understand you. Neuroscientists call this phenomenon of cognitive distortion.

types of miscommunication

Conflicts happen in almost every couple since it’s just impossible to constantly coincide in moods, thoughts, and desires. Conflicts and causes of miscommunication may be extremely different.

The Root Causes of Miscommunication in Relationships

Of course, you can quarrel for some non-trivial reasons, but if you look objectively, then you will see that miscommunication in relationships has almost always the same root causes.

1. You believe that other people see and understand your feelings as you do

We try to hide our feelings, for example, nervousness before a meeting or aversion to the food offered. However, we underestimate our own ability to hide experiences because we cannot completely ignore our own knowledge of ourselves. Therefore, we worry that others are aware of our experiences, and that makes us even more nervous. And it seems to us that others see our experiences more prominently than it is.

In an experiment conducted in 1998, people were asked to lie and then assess how well they had done it. They all overestimated the ability of observers to recognize their lies. It seemed to them that they had given important information from which it was possible to understand that this was a hoax.a cultural approach to male-female miscommunication

In another study, participants were given five different drinks, one of which was bitter. All members of the group had to hide disgust. After this, participants of the experiment were asked to estimate how many people out of ten observers could recognize which of the drinks was bitter. In this case, as well, it seemed to the participants that the observers better recognized whether they were hiding disgust or not. Dozens of similar experiments were conducted, and their participants always overestimated the ability of people to recognize the inner experiences of others. You can meet such examples of miscommunication in everyday life. Women often believe that men understand their feelings because “it’s so obvious,” while actually, it is not.

2. You want other people to guess your thoughts and desires

In a relationship, it often happens that one of the partners is a generator of ideas for spending time together or having some kind of common business. Another partner can be not satisfied with the proposed options. They can express a categorical discontent without offering any reasonable alternative. Thus, they give an unrealistic request for a loved one to predict their desires. Although the person is not sure of what they would like to do or get. And this applies to completely different situations and can actually be attributed to gender miscommunication.

3. You face the illusion of transparency

We know exactly what our words mean and what we want to say when we speak. Therefore, it seems to us that others understand us. We put a certain meaning in words, and it’s difficult to share this meaning with others because everyone chooses different words to express something. This is a matter of experience, education, mood, and so on.

In fact, research conducted by experts at the University of Chicago showed that people who know each other for a long time, or even married couples, often understand each other no better than almost complete strangers. Moreover, communication with unfamiliar interlocutors may be even more successful than a conversation with a beloved partner, all the features of whom, it would seem, have long been known.

The experiment was conducted with the participation of 24 couples. They were put in chairs with their backs to each other and asked to reveal the true meaning of certain phrases of the partner. As the author of the study, Professor Boaz Keyzar, said, it turned out that often one spouse thought that a certain meaning was obvious to the second one, but in reality, it was not always so. Often, we talk about one thing, trying to convey the hidden meaning of a completely different intention, and in many cases, the partner does not really understand it. It is just one of the types of miscommunication you may face in a relationship.

4. You deal with gadgets in a relationship

If earlier a couple could quarrel because a man wanted to watch football, and a woman wanted to watch a series, today the confrontation has got other forms. Nowadays, almost everyone has a gadget with Internet access and can watch the content, depending on their preferences. However, often, one of the partners begins to complain about the lack of attention on the part of the beloved one. Excessive usage of the gadgets can easily become a root cause of miscommunication even in a healthy relationship.

5. You perceive information differently

Texting miscommunication on the Internet is quite a common thing, and nobody can be immune to it.  For example, a misunderstanding may arise on the basis of which photo a partner is going to post for everyone to see or because of the excessive attention paid by the partner to online communication with other people. And even because of the number of "likes" which they put under the photos of other people of the opposite sex. And let's not forget that some people on social networks have a life that is parallel to reality, which the partner might not like or just perceive completely differently. This can be also about a cultural approach to male-female miscommunication.

6. You focus too much on the estimated result

When we get a certain result, the brain finds an excuse – why this result could have been foreseen. You have heard and said the phrase, “I knew it” a hundred times. This happens because when we see the result, we rethink the situation retroactively, taking into account this result. The bad news is that even when we know about this particular activity of the brain, we are still not able to analyze a situation that has already happened the way a person who does not know anything about it can do.

How to Avoid Miscommunication in a Relationship?

Sometimes a relationship in a couple resembles an act of war. And you do not understand what the matter is. It seems you love each other, but for some reason, you continue to blow up over little things. If this is your situation, read on how to avoid miscommunication and stop quarrels in a relationship and what actions will help harmonize them without scandals and screams.

1. Try to prove your point not that often

One of the most frequent causes of miscommunication and lengthy disputes is the desire to prove your point. You are used to doing something in a certain way and want to convince your soulmate that it is more convenient, faster, and so on. Have you ever thought that before meeting you, a person used their own model of behavior? They are used to it, and that is why they are so comfortable. Even if your method is more effective, it does not guarantee that your loved one will change their behavior. The habit has the peculiarity to take root and allows you to perform effectively even the most inconvenient actions. Therefore, watch your partner, do not convince them that you are right. In most cases, you will be convinced that there is no reason for a quarrel in a relationship.

types of miscommunicationIf it is more important for you to be right than loved, then your relationship will be uneasy. Think about whether you are one of those people who think more about persuading a loved one, rather than trying to understand them. However, each person has a personal motive for action. It is possible to learn this motive only by delving into the essence of what the other person is saying. To do that you need to put aside your desire to bring only your truth. Listen carefully to what your loved one is trying to tell you.

Therefore, instead of proving your point of view, try to look at the situation with the eyes of your partner. You will find that their argument also makes sense.

2. Don’t try to change your partner

Nothing is as upsetting and frustrating as the desire of one person to remake another. If you do that, then you should understand that you do not develop a person or help them with such actions. You just create convenience for yourself. Your desire to make the most convenient version of a loved one devalues their personality and individuality. It also makes them feel pressure from the outside. Of course, this is unlikely to please anyone, so quarrels in relationships can become an unpleasant norm. Therefore, try not to correct the partner but accept their advantages and disadvantages. You'd be surprised, but you might like it. And you will get the same attitude in return.

By following these simple recommendations, you will not only significantly reduce the intensity in your relationships but also develop at a high rate. Even your attitude to yourself will change thanks to this approach. You will learn to be more tolerant of your own shortcomings and weaknesses. You will be calmer and easier to perceive what is happening around you, and, as a result, you will become more balanced and harmonious. And this, in turn, will also affect your relationship with a loved one.

3. Become the better version of yourself

Firstly, people like self-confident and calm personalities because this is exactly what most people living in the modern world really lack. Secondly, there will be fewer actual reasons for miscommunication. After all, it is harder to lose your temper if you understand the weaknesses and shortcomings of people and treat this world with understanding. Thirdly and most importantly, you can get to know your loved one closer. Miscommunication in relationships makes people lonely and depressed. When swearing and sorting things out disappear from the life of a couple, they start experiencing sincerity and true pleasant feelings. And thanks to them, you are one step closer to truly deep and intimate relationships.

Examples of Miscommunication

One of the brightest examples of miscommunication in everyday life is your belief that a partner must have a sense of what's happening because it seems obvious to you. Their misunderstanding of the “obvious things” can make you get irritated. Talking about miscommunication examples, it is possible to mention a situation when you feel tired and need some alone time, and you believe that your partner must guess about that.  So, you believe that it goes without saying that they shouldn’t talk to you for an hour and leave you alone because you want that. However, how can a person read your mind? How can they do what you want if you have said nothing about your desires? If you want a partner to do something, you should voice your desires.


Comments (1)
It is a popular problem today. I think this article will be useful not only to those who are faced with such a problem, but will also help couples to prevent miscommunication in the future.
13.03.2020 16:29
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