Which Communication Styles Do You Have?

Posted on Posted in All, Relationship Problems

All of your relationships are influenced by the way you communicate. Whether it is a relationship with coworkers, friends, family, neighbors, etc..., communication strengthens relationships, provides support, conveys needs, and shares ideas. You are connected in a community by your ability to connect with others.

Can you imagine a world where people did not communicate? Even cavemen communicated through paintings, hand signaling, grunting, and facial expressions. Similar to cavemen, you have all those skills. You also communicate through talking, writing, and art. Today, you have new ways to connect with Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Skype. All these ways of communicating develops relationships. However, the style of your communication will influence the way you think, feel, and act.

As you read each communication style you may notice that you know some people who fit in each category. You will even discover your communication styles.

Passive Communication

Behaviors Do not express your feelings, needs or opinions. Very apologetic and speaks softly. Preference to stay quiet. Gives into other’s wants. Afraid to say no. Does not stand up for self. Respectful of others.
Nonverbal Avoids eye contact and tend to look down. Slouched posture to appear smaller.
Thoughts “I can’t stand up for myself,” “I don’t want to cause any trouble,” “people do not consider my feelings,” and “I get stepped on by everyone.”
Goals Give others what they want at any cost to self. Avoid all conflict.
Feelings Anxious, worried, frightened, panicky, worried, sad, down, unhappy, angry, stuck, frustrated, hopeless, self-conscious, worthless, and guilty.

Aggressive Communication

Behaviors Criticize and blames others. Impulsive, interruptive, demanding and overbearing. Uses humiliation to control others. Frustrated easily. Insults or ignore the wants, needs and opinions of others. Uses “you” statements. Intimidates others.
Nonverbal Piercing stare. Overbearing posture to appear large and threatening. Loud voice that can be considered shouting. Crossed arms.
Thoughts “I am superior to others,” “I am always right,” “I should always get what I want,” “it is never my fault,” and “I am entitled.”
Goals Tries to dominate others. Wants to control others. Always wanting to be right.
Feelings Angry, mad, annoyed, irritated, and upset. Afterwards: bad, ashamed, remorseful, and guilty.

Passive-Aggressive Communication

Behaviors Does not express anger directly. Denies that they are upset. Tries to appear their usual self but, purposely doing things to annoy and upset others. Secretly sabotage to get revenge. Does not confront others. Deny responsibility for their actions.
Nonverbal Fake smile. Avoids eye contact and tends to look down. Slouched posture to appear smaller.
Thoughts “I will get revenge for what they did to me,” “I will act like I am okay but, get back at them by making it seem like unintentional,” “they deserved it,” “I am only making it fair,” and “It is not my fault, others are responsible.”
Goals Get revenge on others. Blame others. Act like everything's okay. Make sure people get what they deserve.
Feelings Unhappy, anxious, worried, frightened, rejected, unwanted, lonely, angry, mad, resentful, annoyed, irritated, and upset.

Assertive Communication

Behaviors States their needs, thoughts, feelings, and wants. Take responsibility for their actions. Respectful of others. Listens without interruption. Stand up for their rights. Uses “I” statements. Speaks honestly, directly, and openly. Is open to hearing other’s thoughts and opinions.
Nonverbal Maintains good eye contact. Tone of voice is clear and calm. Relaxed posture.
Thoughts “I respect my needs as well as others,” “I am responsible for getting my needs met,” “I cannot control others but, I can control myself,” and “Everyone is equal and should be allowed to speak their mind.”
Goals Communicate needs while, respecting others. Freely express self and allow others to as well.
Feelings Worthwhile, productive, calm, relaxed, optimistic, satisfied, happy, thankful, confident, sympathetic, pleased, considerate, and accepting.

What is the Best Communication Style?

You may have notice that you can relate to all or most of the communication style. People use different styles of communication depending on what situation they are in.
You might be thinking “assertive communication is the best” but, the answer is it depends. Imagine you are out for a midnight walk and someone points a gun at you. He tells you “give me all your money.” Your burglar is going to be in a hurry because he is scared he will get caught. If you use assertive communication and give a long speech about your needs your burglar might get annoyed because he is in a rush. You probably do not want to annoy someone that has a gun pointing at you. Your best option is to use passive-aggressive communication and give into his demands. Then when he leaves, call the police and hope that he gets caught.  Understanding each communication style has its benefits. You will notice that communication style differs between relationship and find what works best for you.

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