5 Types Of Conversations That Can Kill A Relationship

types of conversations that can kill a relationship

Also, be careful of taking on other people’s emotions when they are reactive in conversations. Negative emotions are sticky.2 If you embody the emotions you pick up from someone, you will live with their suffering. You may find yourself feeling angry, depressed, and resentful even when you started the conversation with care. If you instead, notice how they feel, and compassionately release the emotions in your body so you can hold the space for them to safely express themselves, you can better help them find solutions to their dilemmas.3

Related: 5 Dysfunctional Conversation Types When Delivering Bad News

Every conversation has the possibility of creating mutual understanding and feelings of being cared about. There is also the possibility of being misunderstood and hurt. Even with the best intentions, outcomes are unpredictable. Take care with your conversations. We, humans, are social animals—we survive through connection. Hopefully, you will have many times where your speaking and listening evokes personal and relational transformation.


1. Ursula K. LeGuin. (2004) “Telling is Listening” an essay in The Wave in the Mind: Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader, and the Imagination. Shambhala; 1 edition.

2. Klodiana Lanaj and Remy E. Jennings, “The Costs of Being a Caring Manager” HBR blog, January 6, 2020.

3. Marcia Reynolds, “Can You Have Too Much Empathy?” Psychology Today blog, April 15, 2017.

See more tips on having effective conversations at www.Covisioning.com

Written By Marcia Reynolds  
Originally Appeared On PsychologyToday  
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5 Types Of Conversations That Can Kill A Relationship
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Marcia Reynolds Psy.D.

Dr. Reynolds is a pioneer in the coaching profession. She was one of the first members and the 5th global president of the International Coach Federation. She is also a past president of the Association for Coach Training Organizations. She is the Training Director for the Healthcare Coaching Institute in North Carolina and is also on faculty for coaching schools in Russia, China, the Philippines, and India. She is recognized by the Global Gurus as the #4 coach in the world. She has trained and coached leaders in 43 countries and has presented at the Harvard Kennedy School, Cornell University, Smith College, Almaty Management University in Kazakhstan, and The National Research University in Moscow. She became fascinated with emotional intelligence after reading Daniel Goleman’s book in 1996 and designed a training program that integrates emotional choice with leadership presence, communications effectiveness, and life satisfaction. She has since taught her programs for many agencies of the National Institutes of Health, multi-national corporations around the world, and for coaching schools in Europe and Asia.View Author posts