It is time to communicate with one another!
Why are communication styles important?
Communication is an important aspect of life that can impact how we form, maintain relationships and communicate with one another.
Having a good understanding of our own communication style can be helpful to develop our self-awareness and others’ awareness to communicate. Pinpointing our communication styles can help us to identify our areas of improvement and strengths resulting in strengthening relationships, reducing conflicting situations and expressing our needs.
Communication styles are influenced by external factors that are then internalised. These styles are not fixed but transition and adapt to the scenario one may face.
The 4 communication styles consist of assertive, passive, passive-aggressive and aggressive.
- Assertive communication style is a widely accepted style that is considered an effective communication style.
- It is focused on the needs of the communicator and those with who they are communicating.
- These communicators value their time, rights, needs and themselves- as well as others.
- They are driven by their own desires and needs as well as respecting others’ desires and needs.
- They are straightforward and direct in expressing their opinions, advocate for their rights and someone who states facts (without labels or judgments). They are fair, honest, open to criticism or bargaining, whilst ensuring others understand and interpret the situation at hand in a realistic manner.
- Others will feel that they can trust the assertive communicator at their word, that they know where they stand, that they have been listened to, considered, and respected.
In summary assertive communication style consist of:
- Direct communication
- Appropriate honest
- Advocates for oneself
- Utilised “I” statements
- Listens and does not interrupt
- Express emotions
- Focused on needs of others rather than the needs of their own.
- They are driven by the desire and belief to please others and avoid conflict.
- They typically are indirect about their own thoughts or feelings and will submit to other desires.
- They struggle to take responsibility for decisions, have no opinion and agrees to others without question, talks softly, does not express there feeling and avoid conflict or confrontation.
- Others may view a passive communicator as frustrating, confused on what their needs are or may take advantage of the individual.
In summary passive communication style consist of:
- Indirect communication
- Denies personal needs
- Apologies for emotions
- Defers to other opinions
- Minimises one’s experience
- Prioritises other emotions
- They appear passive on the surface but can act out their needs in an indirect way.
- They are driven by beliefs such as “I’ll please you, but I will get back at you”.
- They have difficulties to express and acknowledge their anger resulting into feeling trapped, unable to confront conflict or their needs.
- They often sabotage themselves due to unclear intentions and their expressions do not match their emotions.
- Passive aggressive communicators may be sarcastic, ‘two-faced’, spread rumours, give silent treatments, talk about others behind their backs rather than confronting others and indirectly aggressive.
- Others may feel they are frequently left feeling confused, angry, hurt, or resentful.
In summary passive-aggressive communication style consist of:
- Indirect comm
- Denies difficult emotions
- Indirectly expresses anger
- Backhanded compliments
- Denies there is a problem
- Feigns cooperation
- They focus on their own needs and disregard the needs of others.
- They are driven by beliefs such as “I’m right and you are wrong” and “I’ll get what I want no matter what”
- They come across as bossy, condescending and threatening.
- They often are close-minded, interrupt or speak over others, put others down, uses threats and are not effective listeners.
- Others may feel defensive, humiliated, hurt, afraid, disrespected, and can resort to fighting back, being resistant or defiant.
In summary aggressive communication style consist of:
- Inappropriately honest
- Dominate others
- Does not listen
- Critics or blames others
- Low frustration tolerance
- Only uses “you” statements