5 Effects of Poor Communication in Families

Effective communication is the foundation of healthy relationships, so it only makes sense that poor communication has damaging effects on relationships. In my Facebook live series, I went through five things hurting your family communication. If any of those habits are going on, or other forms of poor communication, these are five detrimental effects of poor communication in families yours may experience.

5 Effects of Poor Communication in Families

Original photo by Shannon Harke


1.  Creates Misunderstandings

When communication is ineffective, it creates opportunities for miscommunication and misunderstandings. This often leads to making false assumptions, jumping to conclusions, and attempting to read other people’s minds. Typically when people jump to conclusions, they will choose a negative or worst-case scenario which can also lead to unintentionally hurt feelings.


2. Increases Stress

A lack of effective communication can also create insecurity in the relationship if you are not on the same page, feeling disconnected, and do not know what is going on with the other person. This insecurity leads to potentially unnecessary worry, concern, and fear. It may even cause poor decision making because of not having all the information or understanding all sides of a situation. All of these increase stress levels.


3. Escalates Conflict

It is normal to have differences of opinions with other family members. However, if people are unable to speak respectfully and clearly about these differences, it may escalate into undue conflict. With poor communication, arguments start more easily and escalate faster. People also react in unhelpful and defensive ways prolonging the issues.


4. Weakens Bonds

In part due to the effects mentioned above, poor communication weakens the bonds between people. With regard to parent-child relationships, children may feel as though they lack support and lose their sense of direction. Their self-esteem is likely to suffer, and they may feel as though they have to hide things from their parents. In marriages, intimacy will decrease and the quality of the relationship will be hindered. In other family relationships, it is likely that feelings of disconnect will increase.


5. Ends Relationships

Ultimately if poor communication carries on without being resolved, it could cause the relationship to deteriorate until it falls apart completely. For example, poor communication was reported as the leading motive for divorce in the Journal of Family Issues. This could be because a conflict blows up so large that the two can no longer repair the relationship. Or it could also be just because the feelings of disconnection go on for so long that each person hardly feels any care or concern for the other any longer.


How to Fix It

In contrast, members of families with regular, open communication feel heard, understood, and valued. Trust is built from speaking honestly and respectfully. Effective listening is the first piece of the puzzle and empathy goes a long way as well. I have created the online course Create Connection so that you can learn and implement effective communication skills. By doing so you avoid the above effects of poor communication and encourage your family relationships to thrive.

Create Connection Online Family Communication Course

Create Connection teaches the skills involved in listening, empathy, nonverbal communication, perception management, and conflict resolution one week at a time. It contains video lessons, PDFs, quizzes, resources, and more so you are supported all along the way. It is only on sale for a couple of weeks, so click over here to learn more about what is included in the course and enroll.


Have you experienced any of these effects of poor communication in families?

5 Effects of Poor Communication in Families

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4 Comment

  1. Reply
    May 26, 2017 at 10:28 am

    I have seen plenty of examples of this in my own family. We really have to work hard to communicate because what you say is not always what the other person understands. And then we have to account for the differences between males and females. But as long as there is love and a willingness to work things through I believe it is all well in the end.

    1. Reply
      May 26, 2017 at 12:52 pm

      Yes, yes, yes! I have been writing a post that will be going up on Tuesday about how what you say is not necessarily what the other person understands. It’s so true, though, that with love and willingness we can make it work. 🙂

  2. Reply
    Patrick Weseman
    May 28, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    Duh, something that I have learned. Mine would be prime example over the generations. Pretty sad. Starting over with my kiddos. The sad thing is that with my strange family they have no reference or anything which is sad.

    1. Reply
      May 29, 2017 at 12:09 pm

      Yes, it can be especially hard when we have grown up in dysfunctional homes to know what is “normal” or healthy. I think it’s great that you are starting over with your own children – good for you!

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