7 roadblocks to communication

The present blogspot will be based on the question “what are 7 roadblocks to communication?”. It will be based on the list of 7 roadblocks that act as a barrier to communication. It will discuss each roadblock to the communication with examples and strategies to avoid the roadblocks to effective communication.

What are the 7 roadblocks to communication? (7 barriers to effective communication)

Roadblocks to communication are defined as obstacles or hindrances that prevent the communication from serving its purpose. The barriers to effective communication could be subjective or objective. 

Generally a roadblock disturbs instead of facilitating the communication process. A roadblock sabotages the feelings, opinions and thoughts that are being conveyed through the message being communicated.

A roadblock generally distracts the listener and the speaker and thus the communication process gets distorted and sabotaged.

The 7 roadblocks to communication include the following:

  • Ordering
  • Warning
  • Moralizing
  • Criticizing
  • Labeling
  • Praising
  • Avoiding


The first roadblock to effective communication is related to ordering while commanding. Directing and commanding the other person while communication is a hindrance in effective communication.

People usually don’t like getting commands and directions as they make the other person feel inferior. When communication involves some sort of imposition on the listener or force commands, there are chances that the communication process gets distorted.

Ordering may involve actual authority over the other person or it may be based on commanding and directing the other person based on an authoritarian style of communication.

The reason behind ordering being a roadblock to effective communication is that individuals often don’t engage in conversations to receive commands and directions. It is not our job to tell someone what task they must be doing and what areas in life they must be abstaining themselves from. Usually people don’t like this style of communication.

As a result of using ordering and commands in communication, the conversation reaches a dead end, the individual feels lack of empathy and understanding from the other person. 

The major feelings of opposition and retaliation result from ordering and commanding. The individuals usually develop unpleasant and negative emotional states with prominent emotions of resentment, retaliation, defensiveness and fright.

Some examples of commanding in communication include sentences based on the following phrases:

  • “You must….”
  • “You have to……..”
  • “You will …..”
  • “Try a bit hard….”
  • “Face the reality..”
  • “It’s high time, wake up now…”
  • “Don’t get involved in that….”
  • “You must do this”
  • “You can not do this”
  • “I expect you to do this”
  • “Open your eyes and come up to my expectations”

Due to ordering and commanding in conversations, the listener often feels being dominated over by the other person. They get a message that their needs are being put down. 

Ordering and commanding often breaks compromising, collaboration and consideration difficult in a social relation.


The second roadblock to effective communication is warning.  Warning in communication is closely related to threatening the other person. Warning involves making the other person aware of the negative consequences and harsh effects of not following the instruction. Warning often also involves punishment.

Warning is often a wrench on a person’s effective communication skills. When anyone is threatened or warned during a conversation, we intentionally or unintentionally place a barrier to that person’s effective communication.

As a result of warning or threat, the other person might feel offended, defensive with strong emotions of resentment and opposition.

Examples of warning and threat in communication include:

  • If you don’t start treating him better…..
  • If you don’t decide right now….
  • If you don’t start right now….
  • You would better listen to me or…
  • You are really asking for trouble if…
  • Stop that or i will….
  • If you do this again then i will…
  • You would better do….. Or i will…..


Moralizing is a roadblock to effective communication that involves preaching or using statements based on  should and ought statements.  Moralizing feels to the other person as if he is being made obliged to do something.

As a result of moralizing roadblock the other person often feels inadequate or guilty. Individuals often develop low confidence and low self esteem as a result of moralizing.

Moralizing often involves categorizing things and actions as good or bad as per the society norms and cultural values. 

While moralizing a person fails to understand the other person’s perspective and is unable to empathize with them.

Some examples of moralizing include:

  • “You should…”
  • “You really ought to”
  • “It is your duty to”
  • “You should ask for forgiveness”
  • “You ought to do this by today”
  • “I urge you to do this as soon as possible”


The fourth roadblock to effective communication is criticizing. It is also known as judging or blaming. 

Criticizing involves judging or blaming the other person. While criticizing the other person, we tend to evaluate or judge them as per our perception and assumption instead of listening to their message. 

In light of the criticisms provided to the other people, individuals often develop a distorted self image and a low self esteem. They also feel being socially inept or inadequate. Inferiority complex also results from criticisms. 

Criticizing conveys to other people that communicating their needs and desires is of no use and they better keep feelings and thoughts to themselves only. 

Since people often don’t like being judged or evaluated, as a result they respond to judgement and negative evaluations in communication with defensiveness inorder to safeguard their social image. 

Feelings of hostility, passive aggression, anger and irritability are often common in response to moralization.

Following are the examples of moralization:

  • “You are not thinking right…”
  • “Nobody else is to be blame for the situation but you”
  • “As a good wife you should not be”
  • “As a good mother you should not be”
  • “It is awful of you to do this to your sister being an elder sister”
  • “Waitresses don’t have a good social image in our society just like domestic helpers”
  • “Saying that you don’t seem religious enough”


Labeling is the fifth roadblock to effective communication. It hinders the communication process and destroys the main aim of the message. It is closely related to ridiculing the other person or name calling another person.

Labeling also often involves shaming the other person or humiliating the other person by associating different labels to them on the basis of various stigmas of society.

Messages that are communicated through labeling usually have detrimental effects on the person’s self image and self esteem.

As a result of labeling, people usually feel ashamed for their life choices and decisions.  Labeling also shatters their openness to experiences and acceptance for the message being conveyed.

Some examples of labeling phrases as a roadblock in communication are:

  • “That is really stupid of you to think ike that;;”
  • “You feel stupid when you talk like that..”
  • “Your dressing never seems like that of our class”
  • “It was so immature of you to do that”
  • “I don’t think you have been wise enough in choosing the best for yourself”
  • “Your work seems like a piece of trash”


Questions are often a strong roadblock to communication as they hinder the process of effective communication. Questions disturb the spontaneity of the communication flow. Instead of going in the direction of the speaker, questioning takes the conversation to fulfill the needs of the listener.

Questioning is often related to probing or interrogating. Bombarding the speaker with a barge of questions is a surewire hindrance to effective and spontaneous communication. 

Questioning makes the speaker feel being interrogated for fulfilling one’s own purpose and being unheard and unattended to. One may feel not being trusted upon or being cross examined due to frequent questioning.

A few examples of Questioning are :

  • “How can you say that?”
  • “ What makes you believe in that?”
  • “Are you sure you want to do that?”
  • “But why?”
  • “How is that actually even possible?”


Avoiding is the seventh roadblock to effective communication.  It is also known as withdrawing or shifting. Avoiding is aimed at diverting or digressing from the speaker.

Avoiding communicates lack of empathy and lack of respect for the words of the other person. It is closely linked to invalidating the other person’s concerns. 

Avoiding results in withdrawing psychologically from the communication and taking your mind off the message being conveyed. 

Avoiding clearly conveys that whatever was tried to be conveyed was of no worth or was not significant enough to pay attention to.

Avoiding is ignoring the other person’s feelings or concerns completely making them feel  rejected, unacknowledged and unaccepted.

Following are the examples of avoiding as a roadblock to effective communication:

  • “Don’t even think about it”
  • “You need some vacations”
  • “Forget about it”
  • “It is not that important to talk about”
  • “there are better things to talk about in life”


The current blogspot discussed the 7 roadblocks that hinder the effective communication process. We learned that often we use words that seem threatening to the other person or we talk much in a manner that keeps us and our rights on a priority as compared to others. Ordering others, warning others, giving lectures related to moral values and principles, criticising others, labeling others to protect oneself from responsibility, questioning for the sake of putting the other person in difficulty and avoiding physically or psychologically to withdraw communication with a person are some of the prominent roadblocks that hinder the efficacy and effectiveness of communication.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs): 7 roadblocks to communication

What are the 7 roadblocks to listening?

The 7 roadblocks to effective listening are:

Jumping to conclusions
Mind reading
Shoulds and musts

What are the 7 roadblocks to communication?

Following are the 7 roadblocks to communication:

Using ‘You’ statements

What are some roadblocks to communication?

Following are some of the roadblocks to effective communication: