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Author’s Note: Not everyone will be emotionally developed to a stage where they can accept the realities presented in the following article.

It’s always easy for “I”, “me” or “my” to accept responsibility for our accomplishments in life. Meanwhile our failures mostly have long and complicated reasoning behind them, generally concluding it someone else’s fault.

Many are quick to take offense at the truth: we ourselves are the cause of most of our own problems.

While seeing our self in a more active role, will certainly empower us to take control back of our lives. It is also something most of us actively avoid.

My Husband Never Wants to Talk 🙁

A marriage partner not wanting to talk is the most common complaint I hear. “My husband never wants to talk.” they say. Most see themselves as passive victims of the problem without seeing how deep this wound really goes in themselves and the genuine tragedy it is . . .

My husband never wants to talk. Smiling happy lovely couple having a warm conversation while drinking coffee and spending morning together.

Why Codependents Struggle With Conversation Skills

Codependency develops, it is said, from a childhood spent taking care of a self-centered, drug-addicted or alcoholic parent.

Let’s consider the type of conversation this type of parent may have subjected their child to growing up.

You’re so Special

The story begins with mum (or dad) sitting at home drinking (or taking other drugs), perhaps feeling rejected by an absent spouse. Other family, including the absent spouse, would generally expect one child, more than others in the family, to stay home and ‘take care of mum’; praising this child repeatedly as being ‘good’ for doing this. Adult family members would continue treating this child as good and special while in truth using them to solve a problem they were not up to resolving themselves. The family wasn’t in fact honoring the child but leaving them in a situation where a selfish parent would treat them as little more than an emotional dumping ground for this parents bitter and self indulgent monologues.

The parent may likely have accused the child of not talking to them (just like their absent spouse). The truth was, however, it was this parent themselves, who was likely leaving little genuine possibility for conversation.

Family may have told this child repeatedly how ‘special’ and important they were . . .  but never just for being themselves. To the contrary, the child was only told they were special when they sacrificed themselves taking care of the selfish parent’s immature needs.

What conversation skills is a child likely to learn (or fail to learn) from this experience?

  • To look for people who they can dump their problems on?
  • To expect uninterrupted attention for negative mind states and self pity?
  • That blaming and complaining are normal conversation?
  • For a person to really ‘open-up’ when talking, requires them to be drunk or otherwise intoxicated?

The truth is, good conversation is anything but these things and is what gives a relationships its life and depth.

If you are complaining your husband never wants to talk to you. I wonder . . .  are there conversation skills you might learn to make that easier?

It amazes me the amount of time and money people spend on their appearance, while never considering what comes out of their mouth!

Narcissism Produces Poor Conversationalists Too!

Narcissistic individuals have learned poor conversation skills as well. Usually more in the realm of how to lie to get away from this type of emotionally demanding parent at home. “Yeah sure mum, I cleaned my room . . . you are the best, I will see you later.” they say, while scooting out the door with these tasks left undone.

This, while their ‘good’ codependent sister or brother sat at home, ‘taking care’ of mum (or dad). Because dad (or mum) isn’t home (again) or perhaps has left permanently this time.

Do you begin to see how this pattern plays out in families over time?

Better Conversation

In the (members only) series below, I tackle the enormous gap left in the lives of people who grew up in these type of dysfunctional homes.

How many hours each week do you spend on your appearance? Do you work out at the gym? Visit the hairdressers? Buy clothes? Put creams and potions on your face, nails and lashes? I wonder . . .   is there just one of these routines you might swap to learn better conversation skills at home?

My master class includes this series; where for a low monthly subscription, you will also receive personal and group support.

In this series I am going to teach you how to engage people in authentic conversation. Conversation that builds warmth, trust and lasting friendships over time.

I personally have a wound in this area and so addressing this gap in myself took time and courage. My conversation skills are still a work in progress, but together we can help each other stay on track.

In Part 1 of this series I will share some simple and super easy techniques (you can begin to use straight away) to draw people out in conversation and get them to connect with you quickly on a deeper and more intimate level.

Join my Master Class for Access Here:

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Kim Cooper




This Post Has 6 Comments
  1. Thank you for the work you do. I’m sure you reach a lot of people, many whom may not acknowledge it, perhaps a little tangled in what they are doing, and slowly unknotting their lives. Trust that you are making a difference!

  2. Thank you – I appreciate the bullet points about what children/people learn from these experiences – especially “that blaming and complaining are normal conversation,” and “to expect uninterrupted attention for negative mind states and self pity.” This is really common even where no drugs or alcohol are involved.

  3. Thank you for this insight, Kim. I do notice ways in which uninterrupted attention for negative mind states and self pity are a part of my expectations. It is surprising to me how blaming and complaining are still considered normal conversation in my family (of origin) relationships.

  4. Thank you so VERY MUCH Kim and Steve for sharing your knowledge and wealth of info. You are reaching people touched by the challenging task of untangling unhealthy thinking and behavior’s. It’s truly lovely to see the other comments left by people. Many blessings to everyone here and may comfort be felt to those in moments of despair.

  5. Hello, I have been married to a narc for 22 years and just realized it. As you may guess I am exhausted. I read about it some time ago but brushed it off because the article said they cant change and I dont want to believe that. I always feel alone. I could be crying and nobody comes to my rescue. I think Im a very caring and loving person and I never got why I always felt abandoned. Thanks for giving me hope that things can get better…

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