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We all communicate with each other in different ways. For instance, we can communicate verbally using language or nonverbally. Nonverbal communication can be as simple as reading someone’s body language or making eye contact.
It’s easy to take communication for granted unless there’s an issue. However, communication issues can be a significant source of challenges in relationships and mental well-being.
Types of Communication Issues
Communication problems can affect anyone, from childhood to adulthood. While some issues are temporary, others are long-lasting, interfering with an individual’s ability to communicate effectively. Some common communication problems include:
- Lack of assertiveness
- Assumption making
- Not actively listening
- Nonverbal communication issues, i.e., making gestures, maintaining eye contact
- Failing to account for cultural differences or different communication styles
- Organizational communication issues, i.e., lack of employee engagement or morale
- Sharing sensitive information with others
- Not telling the truth
Over time, communication mistakes and misunderstandings may lead to a lack of communication. If you’re experiencing communication problems, help is available.
Communication Issues and Mental Health
In some cases, personal communication problems may be related to mental health conditions, such as:
When communication issues and mental health conditions are related, professional help may be the only way to resolve these challenges. Therapy, social support, and communication skills training can serve as valuable resources for individuals with communication problems.
How to Address Communication Problems
If communication issues impact your life negatively, there are several ways to improve your communication skills and become a more effective communicator. Some helpful resources include:
- Therapy: Working with a therapist is the best way to improve communication skills and any associated mental health challenges. During therapy, you’ll be able to explore your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to uncover the root of your communication mistakes. Depending on the aspects of your life affected, you might choose family, couples, or group therapy.
- Support groups: Joining a support group can help you become a good communicator by practicing group communication skills with different people. Group communication skills classes, which a facilitator leads, can also help you feel more comfortable making eye contact with others and using your facial expressions and body language to communicate.
- Online resources: Self-guided communication skills classes can help you combat poor communication. With more employees working remotely during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, more online resources are available to help remote employees effectively communicate through video conferencing, phone calls, and other forms of digital communication. Online research can also help you learn more about cultural differences and communication in different countries.
- Social support: Although communication issues can make it challenging to seek social support, it’s essential to stay connected with friends and family members.
- Speech therapy: If your communication issues or misunderstandings are related to language problems, speech therapy can help. To find a speech therapist, consider asking your clinician for a referral or searching the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association website.
Therapy for Communication Issues
Several types of therapy can help tackle communication problems, and the right kind of therapy will depend on your specific circumstances and issues. For example, internal communication issues in your family might make it more difficult to express your feelings to loved ones, or communication challenges might leave you feeling frustrated during video calls at work.
Some types of therapy for communication issues include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Interpersonal therapy (IPT)
- Psychodynamic therapy
- Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
- Family systems therapy
To find a therapist, reach out to a mental health professional through WithTherapy. We’ll connect you to someone you feel comfortable with, regardless of your personal preferences and requirements. One of the licensed therapists on the WithTherapy platform will help you.