Learn what style of communication will dramatically improve your relationship
Bickering, yelling, screaming, defending, hurting, blaming, criticizing, belittling, one-upping, put downs, the silent treatment, fleeing, slamming doors, throwing things, breaking things, crying, threatening, giving ultimatums, black mailing, deceiving, manipulating...
All of these ways of communicating in the midst of a conflict will destroy or at least will damage a relationship.
The clients I see in my office for marriage or relationship counseling have been guilty of saying or doing some of the things I just listed. And I bet you have too.
How we communicate with others is so important, yet it's often neglected. You and I must be able to know how to communicate our feelings the right way if we want to resolve the conflicts that we find ourselves in.
This brings me to the 4 styles of communication:
Let's look at each style:
The aggressive style is someone who is angry and everyone knows it. This person will yell or raise their voice, slam doors, have an angry look on their voice. Their tone of voice rises and their level of voice increases.
Screaming, name calling, and threatening are common characteristics of the aggressive style.
Someone who is passive may have an opinion about something, but they keep it to themselves so they don't rock the boat. A passive person would rather keep it to themselves than make things worse.
They just remain quiet on the outside, but they may be screaming on the inside.
Someone who is Passive Agressive will show that they are angry rather than say that they are angry. The silent treatment is a classic example of Passive Agressive style of communication.
A Passive Agressive person may leave the house without saying where they are going.
All three of these styles of communication: Aggressive, Passive and Passive Aggressive will lead to bitterness, resentment and deep-seeded anger that will only get worse if nothing is done to correct it.
It will be one of these styles of communication (long term) that will break up a relationship and create a lot of tension in the home.
What style of communication do you typically use?
The number 1 style that will take your relationship to the next level is Assertive Communication.
Assertive communication utilizes "I messages" and takes the attack off of the person you're talking to and communicates your feelings. "I" before "you".
"I was hurt when you said that." Instead of syaing "you always", "you never". Do you see the difference?
I messages put's the attention on your feelings rather than accuse the other person.
When you start a sentence with "you" it will almost always put the other person at the defense and will lead to more arguing.
Assesertive communication also promotes the three C's.
Calm - Remain calm, watch your tone and level of voice.
Cool - Don't attack, don't yell, don't critize.
Collected - Collect your thoughts before you speak. Think before you speak.
Let me know if this helps your relationship. I hope it does!
I want to be your biggest cheerleader for your relationship and I know you can make things better.
I believe in YOU!
John Cordray, LPC, NCC