I have written about “death spirals” in relationships before in “Forgiveness and Grace”. That particular article dealt with death spirals in parenting and discipline, and this post is equally applicable to your relationships with your children.
Let’s talk about “death spirals” in communication.
It can be just as seductive and damaging there as anywhere else in your life, but where relationship death spirals are usually filled with emotion and drama, communication death spirals can creep up on you so subtly that you are in the depths before you know it.
There are many kinds, but the one I am exposed to the most and must keep avoiding in myself, are those of negativity, complaining repetitively about a particular thing or person and confusing complaints with communication.
You see, it is so easy to do!
You complain, others commiserate, and unless you are careful, you can create a feedback loop that goes nowhere and accomplishes nothing more than distancing others from you by alternately boring and frustrating them.
Even more importantly, a fairly constant stream of complaints and negative observations can inure those around you to when something is really wrong. And that, my friends, can be fatal. Continue reading