The style of communication helps us put forward our thoughts and opinions clearly without causing offense to others. This calls for being honest and maintaining personal boundaries of interaction while safeguarding the mutual rights of the people involved. Additionally, it is also the most effective and open form of communication. Conversations that demand negation are looked at as situations than problems. Expressing thoughts clearly can help in dealing.
Most people find it challenging to communicate when they have to put forward an opposing view or a contesting opinion to that of the speaker. This might either turn into compromising on rights, patronizing or aggressive. If such interaction is unsuccessful, the listener does not welcome the entire communication This is where the tool of assertive communication comes to the rescue. It definitely takes a good amount of patience, observation, and practice to master this art.
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There are four styles of communication namely: Passive, Assertive, Aggressive and Passive Aggressive. Assertive communication stands as a beacon when compared to others styles. Learning the other styles helps understand how not to communicate and also makes assertiveness an easy way.
Passive Communication: Passive communicators often hold themselves back from express their opinions freely in anticipation of a negative outcome from the conversation. Furthermore, They heed to requests that they can neither fulfil nor do they want to and invite additional problems. Fear to communicate, uncomfortable body language, mental turbulence. Also, the Inability to say ‘No’, and lack of confidence are some passive communication styles often characterized.
Individuals who adopt this style often find themselves as passive liars, which further reflects adversely on their self-image. They avoid a confrontation that might arise out of an interaction. People who follow this style are mostly found to have social anxiety. They do not draw happiness out of social interactions and often avoid making new relationships.
There is a vast difference between being assertive and aggressive. An exaggeration of situations and respond to them are characterized as Aggressiveness. Individuals indulge in throwing words with a louder or more serious tone and victimize others for failures. An aggressive communicator is often involved in personal attacks and apathy which further intensifies self-hate. Assumptions are often misguided. When they encounter an unfavorable situation, they experience bouts of anger and resort to the wrong choice of words. Furthermore, Being aggressive closes doors to opportunities and reduces the quality of relationships.
Prolonged passive communication leads to the next style of communication i.e., passive-aggressive. When emotions are controlled for a long time, individuals feel a sudden need to stand up for their rights and burst out with aggressiveness, often in directions that are not related to the context. Reluctance to speak, fretting, and procrastination are characterized as Passive aggressive styles.
Indeed, the meaning of passive-aggressive is to appear passive on the outward but experience aggressiveness from within. Individuals often choose indirect ways to vent out this aggression. So, they refuse to admit their feelings and get shelled up. In a workplace scenario, this style often leads to undesirable consequences and impairs the quality of work.
A friend who always throws parties where you do not feel comfortable and often attaches your attendance to the test of a great friendship.
I value our friendship and would love to cherish it for a long time. But I feel uncomfortable mingling with strangers and the whole experience traumatizes me. I have chosen not to trouble myself with obligations hereafter. You can thoroughly enjoy your personal space. And we both can have a nice time in our own way.
I think I have work around that time. I will let you know if I can come. I wouldn’t definitely like to disappoint you.
I hate your friends and the parties you move in. So, they make me feel otherwise about you. You need to change your choices and prioritize the right people. I can’t come to your parties.
Finding out what troubles your friend and directly engaging in such activities without expressing the problem to him.
Assertive communication demands exercising assertive skills, meaning, adopting assertive techniques that contribute to stress free relations:
Including a process for assertiveness helps structure thoughts and therefore expression. Always streamline the communication in the order of “Situation – Feelings – Reason – Alternatives”
You have to deliver an important presentation online to your office, which is directly tied to your promotion. You communicated this well before time to your husband. He needs to pitch in and take care of household responsibilities, which he failed to do at the last minute. You can say:
“I received poor remarks from my superior for making an ineffective project delivery. The incidents at the house disturbed me quite a bit at the time of the meeting. You have given up on a promise which I genuinely relied upon”.
“This incident echoed poorly on my delivery and I am afraid it affects my future in this company. I may also have to compromise on my career growth if such issues repeat.”
Situations like these, in long term, also affect my financial contribution to our family needs, which makes us compromise on our dreams. I do not want to feel resentment toward my situation.
Next time try to stick to our plans or let us discuss and find an alternative to get things done in a more planned manner so that we both can contribute quality time to work and family.