The first 4 communication styles below reflect indirect and ineffective ways of obtaining what we need in relationships. Used consistently they create feelings of resentment, conflict and unsatisfying relationships. See if you can identify your style (there may be more than one) and reflect on what stops you from being more honest and genuine in your communication.

  1. PASSIVE: Always giving into what others want. Don’t want to make waves. Don’t express your thoughts or feelings. Afraid to say no. Discounting your own wants and needs. Failing to stand up for yourself, which can lead to frustration and resentment.
  2. AGGRESSIVE: Being demanding, hostile or rude. Insensitive to the rights of others and shows a need to control the outcome. Intimidates others into doing what they want. Is disrespectful. Others may feel humiliated or put down by your response. Ultimately pushes people away.
  3. PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE: You tell people what they want to hear which avoids conflict. However, you really feel angry inside and you don’t follow through on the expectations or requests, which results in the other person feeling frustrated, angry, confused or resentful.
  4. MANIPULATIVE: Attempt to get what you want by making others feel guilty. Tend to play the role of victim or the martyr in order to get other people to take responsibility for taking care of your needs.
  5. ASSERTIVE: Directly, honestly and appropriately stating what your thoughts, feelings, needs or wants are. You take responsibility for yourself and are respectful to others. You are an effective listener and problem solver. You stand up for yourself in a way that does not violate the rights of others.