Hitched: The 4 communication styles in couples

Tuesday, April 28, 2020 5:31 pm
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Pastor Phil Ayres from Kingdomcity joins Jeziel in the studio to share wisdom on marriage and relationships. Phil has a passion for growing strong families, and is a goldmine of knowledge and advice. Phil says his passion stems from enduring many difficult years of marriage. After weathering the storm, his marriage is now stronger than ever, and he loves to share his expertise on marriage, relationships, and communication styles.


In a relationship, your spouse is your balance and your counter-part. It’s like a set of old school weighing scales being perfectly in balance. But how does that relate to communication styles? Well, you might not be surprised to know you’re likely married to someone who communicates opposite to the way you do. So even though you want to find solutions together, your styles of communication can mess with this balance.

Styles of Communication

  1. Amplifier and condenser
  2. Competitive and collaborative
  3. Direct and indirect
  4. Hot and cold

Amplifier and condenser

An amplifier says a lot. they need to talk about everything in detail. Oppositely, a condenser says less, preferring to only say what’s necessary. These terms were coined by Dr Norman Wright, an expert marriage and family therapist. You may not be surprised to know that in 70% of marriages, the man is the condenser and the woman is the amplifier.

Couples who are obviously opposite in this way might struggle in a couple of areas. the amplifier may feel frustrated, because their spouse doesn’t talk more about their thoughts and feelings, or doesn’t share enough detail. Meanwhile, the condenser can feel overwhelmed with too much information that they feel is pointless.

To overcome this, couple can try the following. The amplifier can practice abbreviating thoughts and sentences, and extract only key points. the condenser on the other hand can make more of an effort to verbalise thoughts and feelings. For example, take a shopping trip together, or go for a drive and chat.

Competitive and collaborative

A competitive communicator makes decisions on their own without much input from others. Conversations tend to be more assertive and challenging. A collaborator, on the other hand, brings people together to work out problems. They like to ask questions before making decisions.

Frustration can occur because the collaborator is hurt when their spouse doesn’t engage in co-operative communication. Meanwhile, the competitive communicator might get frustrated by their spouse’s lack of decisive action.

The solution here is for the collaborator to plan ahead. Communicate your expectations to discuss issues in advance. The competitive spouse needs to also learn to listen and invite feedback before expressing their thoughts (even if it feels like a waste of time.)

Next week, Phil will be covering the other two communication styles. In the meantime, check out the podcast below!

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