Different communication styles? 5 important things that can help you connect - Christian Connection dating advice

Different communication styles? 5 important things that can help you connect

We all know communication is key when it comes to any form of relationship. It’s important to get your point across and be heard but also to listen and pay attention to others. Yet sometimes our communication styles within relationships can be an enigma or polar opposites, leading to miscommunication and a breakdown of understanding. Why is it that there are people you just ‘click’ with, and others that you find really hard work to talk to? And how can this affect dating and romantic relationships?

Different communication styles? 5 important things that can help you connect - Christian Connection dating adviceOne of my biggest fears when dating was silence. Conversations that can dry up and fizzle into nothing. I still am nervous around awkward silences with some people and when dating I wanted to find someone I could really talk with.

Communication is more than just talking though, it’s understanding the other person and learning how they communicate and educating yourself on the different styles, as much as learning their love languages. How one person hears, communicates, gets their voice across and feels valued is very different from how another person does the same thing.

My husband and I are opposites in our communication styles – this has pros and cons, but does mean that our disagreement styles are different as well, when situations sometimes lead to conflict.

I’m more of an extrovert and my husband is an introvert. This can be really beneficial in many ways – in social situations I’m much more open and can sometimes take charge of social settings a little more, so his introverted self isn’t too overwhelmed. My husband, as an introvert, is more methodical and that can be calming for me so that I don’t spiral or become overwhelmed in other situations.

Different communication styles? 5 important things that can help you connect - Christian Connection dating adviceMy husband processes everything fully and thinks before he speaks, whereas sometimes I don’t! I process by talking things through, my husband processes by thinking things through. I don’t understand the silence of not communicating what he’s thinking and sometimes this sends me into panic mode! He doesn’t understand the constant verbal stream and consequently doesn’t always hear what I say.

As you can see, if you don’t work through these issues, they can easily escalate and lead to conflict and breakdown of communication. Through the years we’ve understood each other more and worked on how we communicate to ensure that we communicate effectively, but it takes time and work.

Here are some tips I’ve found helpful when working through different communication styles:


Firstly, communication is best when you are relaxed, not rushing around and not overtired. Try to make sure you’re not stressed, burnt out or worried about something when you try to communicate, especially if you want to talk about something deep, important or sensitive.

If you relax, then you’re more aware of the other person rather than over aware of yourself, which is when your own communication style goes into overdrive – you may clam up, or you may talk far more and far faster than normal.

Learn to see the signs of how the other person communicates – do they like to be included in every conversation, do they like to start conversations, do they just answer the questions that are asked and not contribute to furthering the conversation? Does it seem like they’re not listening just to get their point across?

Give each party time to be heard, and if you are someone who likes to be a part of every conversation, then leave space for others to speak without interrupting someone’s story. If you are the conversation starter, maybe wait for others to ask questions, or ask questions carefully to help open up the shyer party.

Take Responsibility

A lot of communication is about the individual taking responsibility for how they express their views, being mindful of the other person, and understanding that louder isn’t always better. It can otherwise be easy to slip into being selfish, with a lack of true hearing and understanding. We need to appreciate the differences, and learn to spot each other’s communication styles.

Different communication styles? 5 important things that can help you connect - Christian Connection dating adviceThere’s no right or wrong regarding well-intended communication, and although it can seem frustrating, that’s the joy of getting to know someone and find the keys to them opening up.

To begin with, it can be hard to find common ground as you are getting to know each other and learning how to communicate with each other – are you a joker/ take things literally/ easily offended or easily intimidated? You weigh each other up, but it’s down to you to make others aware of how you personally communicate, ensuring that you’re open minded about how they might communicate back. For example:

Introverts – should feel their point holds weight in conversations. (So make sure you hear what they have to say fully)
Underconfident people – should feel their point is valid. (So don’t talk over them)
Extroverts – should feel that they can verbalise their thought processes. (So try and listen and really hear what they’re saying and not just hear words)
‘Always wanting to be included’ people – should feel they have moments where they can be a part of the conversation and let their anecdotes and stories be relevant and appreciated. (So try to allow them their stories, even if they’ve got a story for everything. The need to be included and a part of something is far greater.)

As an introvert, an introvert’s viewpoint is valid and worth raising, and it’s not right to keep quiet. As an extrovert, an extrovert’s voice needs to be heard and that means keeping up with the wordy nature!

Different communication styles? 5 important things that can help you connect - Christian Connection dating adviceListen

Truly listen to what the other person is saying. This may be deciphering an extrovert’s external monologue, or not interrupting someone of few words. Read the situation, and listen to what the subtext is as well – is the other person wanting validation, will they feel put out if you have to contribute to the story with your anecdotes too? Focus on what is being said, give eye contact and try not to be distracted by your surroundings or your phone.

Check Yourself

Be self-aware – do you feel like you must be included in the conversation all the time and state how it relates to you? You shouldn’t feel intimidated – what you have to say is important and you must not give up trying to get your point across. That being said, you shouldn’t feel offended if you’ve dominated a conversation and someone wants a chance to talk too. Just as we teach toddlers to share, we have to learn as adults the intelligence of sharing within conversations.


Different communication styles? 5 important things that can help you connect - Christian Connection dating adviceAre you a hedgehog or a rhinoceros? Before we got married, our marriage prep included recognising which animal we were most like when we disagreed. Do you bristle and stay quiet, and consequently let situations fester, or are you like a bull in a china shop or go full out like a rhino?

I think actually my husband and I are both hedgehogs, but his introverted self means that he takes his time to reply and this frustrates me when I want answers, so my extroverted self fills the silence and causes unnecessary words and can cause a situation to spiral. Over the years I have become more aware of this and have tried to keep that in check.

During conflict, everyone’s communication styles become heightened and this can cause hurt and upset. Be mindful that during these moments self-control is needed.

Remember God understands every type of communication style. He wants a relationship with everyone and nothing stops Him from understanding each person’s way of communicating. He knows each person inside out as he created them. If you’re in doubt as to how to communicate or how to understand someone, pray about the situation as God can reveal how best to communicate with them.

What have you found helpful when navigating different communication styles?

Enjoyed reading ‘Different communication styles? 5 important things that can help you connect’? You might like other Christian Connection blogs on communication including ‘4 ways authentic communication leads to healthy love‘ and ‘Building trust through communication – 6 simple steps

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