Human beings are social creatures. Therefore, forming connections with others is essential to our well-being. However, while communication is often cited as the key to building solid relationships, another factor is equally important yet often overlooked. In our personal or professional lives, making meaningful connections requires more than effective communication. This article will explore this overlooked factor and discuss how healing emotional trauma can help us build more fulfilling relationships.
How Healing Emotional Trauma Can Improve Communication Skills
Many of the relationship experts agree that communication is the key to a successful relationship. And while I strongly agree about the significance that good communication plays in a healthy relationship,t here’s more to be learned about communication than simply saying you need to learn to communicate better. Reducing communication to such a simple, vague act without addressing the underlying emotions that dictate how we communicate leaves out a critical component of effective communication.
Reducing communication to such a simple, vague act without addressing the underlying emotions that dictate how we communicate leaves out a critical component of effective communication.
To be a good communicator, it’s important to develop emotional intelligence, which means that we have to be aware of and manage our own emotions (and understand the emotions of others). This allows you to communicate in a way that is empathetic, respectful, and clear. Therefore, it is essential to have dealt with past emotional trauma, which can wreak havoc on your relationships. Without these foundational components, it will be difficult to communicate well. So instead of just saying we need to be better communicators, let’s begin healing emotional trauma and cultivating emotional maturity.
What is Emotional Trauma?
Unresolved emotional trauma refers to the lingering effects of past traumatic experiences that have not been fully processed or healed. Emotional trauma can result from a wide range of experiences, including abuse, neglect, loss, or other significant life events that are distressing or overwhelming.
It’s important to recognize that emotional trauma can stem from experiences that might seem insignificant or minor, such as not having our needs met as children. These experiences can cause us to suppress parts of ourselves or behave in ways that don’t align with our authentic selves, leading to emotional trauma.
While it might seem like a small thing, the effects of unmet needs can be profound and long-lasting, impacting our emotional well-being well into adulthood. These memories can become deeply ingrained in our subconscious, influencing our emotions and behavior without us even realizing it.
It’s possible that unresolved emotional trauma is influencing your reactions to difficult situations, even if you’re not consciously aware of it. This is why it can be challenging to let go of things that bother you.
When an individual experiences emotional trauma, the body and brain’s response system becomes dysregulated, leading to ongoing symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and avoidance behaviors. If these symptoms persist over time and are not properly addressed, they can lead to unresolved emotional trauma.
A person’s ability to form and maintain healthy relationships is severely hindered by emotional trauma because they struggle to manage their emotions effectively. In general, unresolved emotional trauma can create barriers to effective communication, leading to misunderstandings, conflicts, and difficulties in relationships. Addressing and healing from emotional trauma is an important first step for improving communication skills and building healthy relationships.
How Unresolved Trauma Can Make Effective Communication Difficult?
Unresolved trauma can have a profound impact on our ability to communicate effectively. Whether it stems from childhood experiences or more recent events, emotional trauma can leave deep wounds that affect how we perceive and respond to the world around us, creating barriers to effective communication. Here are some examples of how people with unresolved emotional trauma can have difficulty communicating effectively:
Hyperarousal: People with unresolved emotional trauma may be constantly on guard and easily triggered by certain topics, words, or gestures. This can make it difficult to have a calm and productive conversation and can cause communication breakdowns.
Avoidance: In an attempt to avoid re-experiencing the painful emotions associated with their trauma, individuals with unresolved emotional trauma may avoid certain conversations or topics altogether. This can lead to communication breakdowns and difficulties in personal and professional relationships.
Emotional dysregulation: People with unresolved emotional trauma may experience intense emotions such as anger, anxiety, or fear, which can interfere with effective communication. They may become overwhelmed with emotion or be unable to control their emotional reactions, leading to misunderstandings and conflicts.
Misinterpretation: Individuals with unresolved emotional trauma may interpret certain comments or actions as threatening or harmful, even if they are not intended that way. This is often a result of past memories stored in the subconscious mind that dictate how they perceive the world around them. This can lead to misunderstandings and communication breakdowns.
Difficulty expressing oneself: Individuals who have experienced emotional trauma may struggle to express themselves effectively. They may have difficulty finding the right words or may become overwhelmed with emotions when attempting to communicate.
Inability to listen: Trauma survivors may also struggle to listen effectively to others. They may be easily triggered by certain topics or may have difficulty focusing on what others are saying due to intrusive thoughts or emotions (also as a result of past memories stored in the subconscious mind).
The effects of unresolved trauma on communication cannot be ignored. Trauma can lead to a range of emotional and behavioral issues that can hinder our ability to connect with others in meaningful ways. By acknowledging and addressing these issues, we can begin to heal and develop the skills necessary for effective communication. Whether through therapy, self-reflection, or working with a life coach like me, taking the time to heal our emotional trauma can ultimately lead to stronger, more fulfilling relationships and a greater sense of personal well-being.
Understanding How Emotional Trauma can affect one’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors
I talk a lot about the importance of not taking our feelings very seriously, and this is why. Your feelings are a cumulative representation of all the shit we have stored in our subconscious mind, including unresolved trauma. Therefore, it’s no surprise that unresolved emotional trauma can have a significant impact on your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Here’s how:
“Your feelings are a cumulative representation of all the shit we have stored in our subconscious mind, including unresolved trauma.“-Michele Mendoza
Thoughts: Emotional trauma can lead to negative or distorted thinking patterns, such as self-blame, a negative self-image, or even a tendency toward negative bias. Trauma can also cause a sense of disbelief, confusion, or difficulty making sense of what happened. In some cases, individuals may experience dissociation, a feeling of being disconnected from their thoughts and feelings.
Emotions: Emotional trauma can result in intense and persistent negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, guilt, shame, or anger. These emotions can be triggered by reminders of the trauma, such as certain people, places, or situations (even when they weren’t the cause of the trauma). In some cases, individuals may experience a sense of numbness or emotional detachment as a means to cope with the pain associated with the trauma.
Behaviors: Emotional trauma can lead to a range of behaviors, including avoidance of situations or people that are associated with the trauma, substance abuse or other forms of self-destructive behavior, and difficulty forming and maintaining healthy relationships. Trauma can also result in changes in eating and sleeping patterns, as well as physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, or fatigue.
In addition to these effects, emotional trauma can also impact an individual’s sense of self-worth and identity, leading to feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, or a loss of purpose, and can interfere with an individual’s ability to trust others, leading to difficulties in forming and maintaining healthy relationships.
It’s important to note that the effects of emotional trauma can vary widely depending on the individual and the nature of the traumatic experience. However, in general, emotional trauma can have a significant and long-lasting impact on an individual’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors and may require professional support to heal.
Conclusion: The Importance of Healing Emotional Trauma for Effective Communication
Effective communication is essential to forming meaningful relationships, but it requires more than just speaking effectively. Emotional intelligence is a critical component of communication, and to develop emotional intelligence, it is essential begin healing emotional trauma. Unresolved emotional trauma can lead to emotional dysregulation, misinterpretation, and difficulty expressing oneself. By acknowledging and addressing these issues, we can develop the skills necessary for effective communication and build stronger, more fulfilling relationships.
“Emotional intelligence is a critical component of communication, and to develop emotional intelligence, it is essential to deal with past emotional trauma.—Michele Mendoza
Something to Ponder:
If you are easily triggered, quick to get angry, or defend yourself, Take time to think about how past emotional trauma might be influencing your ability to communicate effectively in your personal or professional relationships.
For more on this topic, check out this IG Reel.