Surely you know certain people who, just with their way of speaking and communicating, suggest implicit violence. You’ll also have met others who you tend to distrust because of their elusive look, their condescension, or simply an attitude that makes you feel uncomfortable.
In fact, deep down, you know how to read between the lines and sense exactly what kind of personality you’re faced with when you talk to them.
However, are you aware of what you convey, of the image you offer to others?
To understand further, it’s worth taking a brief look at the three basic styles of communication. Then, you’ll be able to better understand those you meet or work with, or even who are members of your family. Furthermore, you’ll be able to reflect on your own attitude when it comes to expressing, giving opinions, and conversing.
Main styles of communication
1. Aggressive communication
You’ve probably encountered this kind of communication on more than one occasion. It’s based primarily on the idea that someone’s point of view and wishes are superior to others. However, we’re not necessarily referring to people who use bad words, raise their voices, and address you in an insulting way. These people are more subtle.
Aggressive communication seeks, above all, to defend itself in an imposing way, attacking your rights in a subtle way, despising you, preventing you from expressing yourself freely and undervaluing your words.
These people don’t hesitate to humiliate you. Furthermore, when they do, they have a special gift for making you believe that it’s for your own good. To teach you and show you what things are like are from their point of view.
2. Passive communication
This style of communication is extremely common. Its main characteristic is that the person who uses it doesn’t usually express or transmit their thoughts openly and directly. They can have a normal conversation with you, but gradually you’ll realize that they hardly give you any information and that it’s you who does most of the talking.
These passive people hide what they think for two reasons. The first is because they don’t want to hurt you by telling you what they think, or that they simply don’t dare. The second is that they may be somewhat shy, withdrawn, or suffer from low self-esteem and they don’t feel comfortable or safe saying what they really feel.
Everyone experiences fears and insecurities at some time. This means they might be less communicative and open.
3. Assertive communication
Undoubtedly, this is the type of communication that we should all practice. It’s the healthiest, most productive, and essential kind. It’s based on expressing your ideas openly and directly, without causing harm, without manipulating, and without offending. To do it, you must know how to manage your emotions extremely well. Above all, you must know when to communicate and how to do it.
Assertive communicators use the personal pronoun. They say “I believe” or, “I think”. This doesn’t mean they’re being selfish. They simply intend to be honest and open, always providing the correct information so that their dialogue is productive and effective. They provide trust, openness, and transmit values and balance.
Sometimes, the type of communication depends on the moment. For instance, if your self-esteem isn’t too high, you probably won’t be able to converse effectively. At other times, you might feel annoyed with someone and lean toward aggressive communication. This is normal. However, you should always try and encourage, develop, and practice assertive communication.
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