Can you think of any relationships that you would want to improve? What is your communication like in these situations? Let's dive into different ways to communicate with the people in your life, so you can cultivate healthier relationships.
First, let’s talk about different types of communication:
Passive - This type of communication is similar to being a doormat. We don’t feel respected or heard in this communication style and it can lead to built-up resentment in the long term.
Aggressive - This communication style often involves attacking the other person verbally. This usually includes yelling, but not always! This communication style can often lead to the other person either responding with aggression as well or retreating altogether. It might feel good to release anger in the moment, but this can lead to guilt and shame for you in the long run.
Passive Aggressive - Think snide mean-girl types of comments. Backhanded comments that make you think twice about someone’s intention behind their seemingly playful tone.. Again, this type of communication may feel good momentarily, (HA, I got ‘em!) but comments like these can lead to a relationship breakdown over time.
Assertive - This is the one we want! Speaking from a place where we respect the other, but also respect our needs and wants. Communication is clear and effective. The other person can (hopefully) hear what they need to hear without getting defensive.
Note: Sometimes we can be clear, calm, and cool in a situation, yet the other person isn’t able to do the same. This isn’t your fault. Do what you can, and if the other person isn't able to meet you where you are at without getting angry, accusatory, abusive, etc., count your losses and move on, knowing you did your best. Therapy may also be a good idea in these cases.
Keys to healthy communication:
- Be honest.
- Be open.
- Use “I” Statements.
- Stay calm.
All in all, when it comes to healthy communication, the best policy is to be both open and honest, without attacking the other individual.
What has helped you communicate the best with others? What hasn’t worked well? What have you learned? Share your thoughts below!
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