Communication and Stressful Life Events


Good communications skills are very valuable in our daily interactions of course, but they become especially critical in times in our lives when we are experiencing great stress.  Below is a list of life events that can cause intense emotional stress.  Take a look at the *list below.  If any of these events are occurring (or have occurred) in your life, ask yourself whether the stress you experienced was related to a breakdown in communication with another person.  Could better communication make a difference in the situations below?  It's pretty amazing when you think about how often better communication could relieve stress.  Expert communication really does work. No question about it.

*Source:  R. Cochrane and A. Robertson, Journal of Psychosomatic Research

*List of Stressful Life Events

Death of spouse

Divorce/break-up of family

Jail sentence

Marital separation

Unwanted pregnancy

Death of immediate family member

Unemployment of head of household

Attempted suicide of immediate family member

Incurrence of debt beyond means of repayment

Onset of heavy drinking problem of immediate family member


Serious illness or injury requiring hospitalization


Jail sentence imposed on immediate family member

New problem related to use of alcohol or drugs

Serious illness suffered by immediate family member

Sex difficulties

Death of close friend

Sudden increase in number of arguments with significant other

Period of homelessness

Breakup with steady girlfriend/boyfriend


Serious restriction of social life

My own/my partner's pregnancy

Problem with my children

Onset of prolonged ill health requiring treatment

New job in new line of work

Son/daughter leaves home

Sudden increase in number of family arguments

Addition of new immediate family member

Purchase of home


Move to new house

Involvement in physical fight

Spouse's job began or ended

Minor violation of the law

New job in same line of work

Change in hours of conditions in present job

Vacation away from home

Quarrel with neighbors

Development of friendship with new neighbors


© 2013 Cinda Lawrence. All rights reserved.