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Barriers to Communication

October 27, 2012  by: Sarika  Points: 12   Category: Others  Earning $1.50   Views: 824

In this article I have tried to point out the major reasons of communication failures


Barriers to Communication:

Effective communication is the key to success. Everyone at some point or other in his/her life has faced problems in communication leading to failures and disappointments. There are many barriers which lead to communication failures. In this article I have tried to differentiate between different types and sub-types of barriers to communication.


1. Gender:
In certain cultures it is not allowed to communicate with people of opposite sex. This also leads to communication failure.

2. Birth defects:
Sometimes people are born with defects in their speech organs like alveolar ridge, hard palate, tongue, teeth, lips, glottis etc. These deformities leave the person incapable of speech and thus communication. Sometimes accidents during one’s life or shocks also can stun the person and lead to speechlessness.

3. Bureaucracy:
We all know how difficult it is to reach a person who is in high position. We have to deal with a lot of bureaucracy and then if we are lucky then perhaps we would be able to speak for one minute with the official. Bureaucracy hinders communication.

4. Body language:
Body language plays a very important role in communication. It speaks a lot about a person’s personality and behaviour. Whether a person is well mannered, polite, respectful or rude, arrogant and careless decides his/her availability for an effective communicate with people.

5. Distance/space:
Earlier times distance was a major factor in lack of communication but now-a-days due to advancement in technology this factor is not so severe like before.

6. Time constraints:
It is very often that one can hear “oh, I do not have time!” Time constraints in one’s life are also major communication barriers.


1. Language:
Lack of knowledge of a language is of course a big barrier to communication.

2. Misunderstandings in communication:
Language should be used very carefully. Wrong use of words can give rise to many confusions and misunderstandings.


1. Criticism:
Criticism is good as it helps the person to improve and grow, but if it becomes a habit then it can be destructive for the relationship (both personal and professional) leading to reclusion and communication destruction.

2. Lack of self confidence/fear:
Fear of the unknown and lack of self confidence is often a reason why people do not even try to talk with others and due to this sometimes end up losing really golden opportunities.

3. Lack of Patience:
Patience is a very important element of effective communication. Communication is a two sided process where both people have to listen to each other and also speak. If a person does not have enough patience to listen then there cannot be a conversation and communication fails.

4. Lack of emotional intelligence/empathy:
It is also sometimes advisable to empathise with people to make them realise that you understand them and their situation and you are with them in the difficult time (for e.g. if they are discussing problem). Making fun of someone will only give rise to bitterness in future and can lead to complete communication cut.

5. Inability to follow a conversation:
If you are participating in a conversation or a group meeting and you are not able to follow the conversation then it becomes difficult to communicate your own ideas about the topic of discussion.

6. Dominance:
Being dominant in a conversation is not a good idea. People might have the feeling that they have the command over the talk and they can direct the course of the talk but it is not true. Dominance can kill a talk and also inhibits exchange of information.

7. Social status:
Sometimes people are so proud of their social and monetary status that they do not give importance to other people or to their thoughts and opinions. By doing this they not only design boundaries around them but also deprive themselves of the knowledge that they can gather by communicating with other people.

8. Social competence:
It is very important to be socially competent and be able to talk with people in a cordial and agreeable manner. This is one of the most sort-out qualities in a salesman.

9. Gestures/Body language:
Our body language speaks a lot about us. The way how we carry ourselves in the society, for e.g. sitting postures, gestures, eyes, dress etc. displays whether we are open to people (=approachable) or we are proud and arrogant.

10. Character:
People always want to talk more and more with other people who are humble, helpful, generous, soft spoken, decent and understanding. All these qualities describe our character. Our behaviour towards others decides whether we like to communicate or we prefer to be secluded and alone.

11. Culture:
Cultural differences can prove to be a major hindrance in communication. For e.g. in some cultures it is not allowed to speak with the women of the family. In such a case where you have to explain something to the women about her health or her rights then it is simply not possible to be able to talk with her.

12. Constraints/inhibitions:
Some people are shy (mostly children and women) and are afraid to come forward and even hold a small conversation. Personal constraints, inhibitions and invisible limitations make communication difficult or sometimes impossible.

13. Inability to maintain a distance:
Sometimes people have no problems in communication but then they are over-communicative and do not realise that there is a limit which they should not cross. Without intention or sometimes with intention they enter in people’s personal realm which gives rise to unpleasantness. Being communicative is good but being nosy is not going to help anyone in anyway.

14. Difference in opinion:
Differences in opinion give rise to bitterness and fights. These fights can turn serious which are not good and can destroy future communication possibilities.

15. Not enough knowledge:
Sometimes people speak about something without having enough knowledge about it. They try to show that they are knowledgeable but the effect is opposite. People laugh at them and in future try to avoid them. This kind of attitude is also a communication killer.


Communication is an art and to be successful one has to have a profound knowledge of this art. From above article we can see that most of the communication barriers are psychological in nature. These barriers can be broken if people put some efforts from their side and become a little bit more considerate towards others.

Author: AJAY        
Posted Date: 10/29/2012    Points:4    

This is indeed a very unique article about the the different barriers of communication. What I liked much about the article is the proper categorization of the different barriers of communication under separate headings. Personally, I am only aware about only a few barriers of communication but this article has acquainted me with the other ones that very much exists today. Finally, I would also agree with the author on the note that communication is an art and one could get over the barriers by one''s own individual efforts. Thank you for sharing this great article with us, well presented!
Author: AJAY        
Posted Date: 10/29/2012    Points:4    

Duplicate post deleted.
Author: Xavier        
Posted Date: 10/30/2012    Points:5    

Well written article, Sarika. Thank you.
Two days ago, a friend of mine commented,"Advancement of technology has brought distant persons near but it has also made near people distant." It is sad to find people talking to someone on their cellphone while sitting for meals with their family. It is also seen that people keep on using their cellphone while having a serious meeting to decide on an important point.So, in certain communities, it is forbidden to bring cellphones to the refectory.People also spend a lot of time playing games or watching videos when they should meet persons and make more human contacts.
Author: Sarika        
Posted Date: 11/01/2012    Points:8    

Thank you ajayji and xavier ji for your wonderful comments full of encouragement. It gives me a lot of motivation to write when readers like my article and they give me the feedback that the article was useful to them.

I completely agree with you Xavier ji that on one hand technology has brought us together and on the other hand it has just created so many distances that are unfathomable. The examples you have mentioned are simply so true and happens all the time in real life. It is really irritating when people bring cell phones on the dinner table or someone‘s mobile rings during a class.

The other problem which you have rightly mentioned is the video games, movies and other such multimedia applications which make a person sedantary and restricts his/her personal contact with other people. This is absolutely a time killer plus gives rise to many mental and physical mental conditions. Obesity in children is one major issue to be dealt with while children play video games all the time and sit in front of TV. I think a proper control (including self-control) is necessary to take care of such issues.

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