Barriers to verbal communication

Updated July 19, 2017

Verbal communication plays an essential role in relationships. Without it, people can grow apart very quickly. Every relationship carries its share of issues, but strong verbal communication will help you deal with them. Keep an open mind and a good attitude; that way, everyone can get their needs met. Follow some specific steps to make your relationship easier and more effective.

Not Listening

Not listening constitutes a major barrier in verbal communication. You may hear what your partner says, but you may not be really listening. Validate the ideas of your partner before taking your turn to speak.

Nonverbal Cues

Nonverbal cues can block verbal communication. The wrong facial expressions and body language sometimes override what the other person wishes to get across, says Dr. Jeanne Segal, in her article "Nonverbal Communication Skills:

The Power of Nonverbal communication and Body Language." This includes eye rolling and tapping your fingers.

Not Understanding Feelings

Not understanding the feelings associated your partner's words constitutes a problem, say Rod Windle and Suzanne Warren in their article, "Communication Skills." By focusing only on the content, and not the emotions, you can intensify your partner's negative reactions.


Inconsistency also blocks verbal communication. If you say one thing and then later change your stance, it will further confuse or frustrate your partner. Don't go all over the map. Let your partner know your thoughts, but be clear and concise.

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About the Author

Chris Alexis has been a professional writer since 2007. He currently writes for WBNS-10TV News, based in central Ohio. He attended the Ohio State University, graduating in December 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism.