Communication Styles

  • General   •   18 March, 2019

General

Passive

Compliant, submissive, talks little, vague noncommittal communication, puts self down, praises others.

“I don’t mind…that’s fine….yes alright”

Assertive

Actions and expressions fit with words spoken, firm but polite and clear messages, respectful of self and others.

“That’s a good idea, and how about if we did this too…” or “I can see that, but I’d really like…”

Aggressive

Sarcastic, harsh, always right, superior, know it all, interrupts, talks over others, critical, putdowns, patronising, disrespectful of others.

“This is what we’re doing, if you don’t like it, tough”

Beliefs

Passive

You are okay, I’m not.

Has no opinion other than that the other person/s are always more important, so it doesn’t matter what they think anyway.

Assertive

I’m okay, you’re okay.

Believes or acts as if all the individuals involved are equal, each deserving of respect, and no more entitled than the other to have things done their way.

Aggressive

I’m okay, you’re not.

Believe they are entitled to have things done their way, the way they want it to be done, because they are right, and others (and their needs) are less important.

Eyes

Passive

Avoids eye contact, looks down, teary, pleading.

Assertive

Warm, welcoming, friendly, comfortable eye contact.

Aggressive

Narrow, emotionless, staring, expressionless.

Posture

Passive

Makes body smaller/stooped, leaning, hunched shoulders.

Assertive

Relaxed, open, welcoming.

Aggressive

Makes body bigger/upright, head high, shoulders out, hands on hips, feet apart.

Hands

Passive

Together, fidgety, clammy.

Assertive

Open, friendly and appropriate gestures.

Aggressive

Pointing fingers, making fists, clenched, hands on hips.

Consequences

Passive

Give in to others, don’t get what we want or need, self-critical thoughts, miserable.

Assertive

Good relationships with others, happy with out come and to compromise

Aggressive

Make enemies, upset others and self, feel angry and resentful.