Whether it’s with your personal life or professional life, being an efficient communicator is an essential skill. Effective communication means the difference between a relationship thriving or failing, or an important project being successful or a disaster. Everyone communicates differently, so learning your specific style can help you gain insight into how you interact with others.
There are four communication styles:
- Passive Communication: Passive communicators are prone to bottling up their opinions or feelings, not defending themselves and their ideas and not working to meet their needs (or communicating those needs to others). With this cycle, their frustrations build up until something triggers an outburst, leading to embarrassment and continued passivity.
- Aggressive Communication: Aggressive communicators are, well, aggressive, when it comes to expressing their opinions and feelings. They tend to do so in intimidating and belittling ways, leading to unhealthy relationships with others.
- Passive-Aggressive Communication: While passive-aggressive communicators seem passive on the surface, their interactions are often filled with indirect aggression. They don’t feel as if they can be assertive with others, so they take their frustrations out in subtle ways.
- Assertive Communication: Assertive communicators clearly express their needs and feelings. They strike the balance of advocating for themselves but not doing so in an aggressive, belittling way. These communicators respect both themselves and others, and it shows in their interactions.