Avoiding Negative Communication Styles

Posted on: September 9, 2009

You have probably heard the term “passive aggressive” and did not know what it meant. You are probably familiar with the terms passive and aggressive. These are three communication styles that should be eliminated if you are to communicate effectively with other individuals.

Aggressive communication can be described as follows:


-Using intimidation or threats

-Underlying violence

-Talking down to people in a disrespectful manner

-Being very controlling

-Saying rude and hurtful things to people under the guise of being “blunt”

-Name calling

-Offensive behavior

Do you exhibit any of these signs of aggressive behavior? If so, you probably have found that it has gotten you into quite a few fights, maybe even some physical altercations. You are a walking time bomb who always seems to be able to go off.

There is nothing wrong with being assertive in making sure that your needs are met. There is something wrong if you are hurting other people in your quest to do this.


People who exhibit aggressive style behavior are usually bullies. They often will resort to talking to people in this manner at stores and places where employees are trained not to talk back. It gives them a false sense of superiority and makes others feel bad. To say that this communication style is ineffective is an understatement. It is toxic. And sooner or later, it will cause negative effects in your life. No matter how much of a bully you are, and how aggressive, there is always someone who is a bit tougher. Continue this type of behavior and be prepared to have very few friends, move around from different jobs all of the time and have problems in your personal life as well as with the criminal justice system. have problems in your personal life as well as with the criminal justice system.


Passive behavior is almost as destructive as aggressive behavior. You never know what a passive person is thinking, but they are usually seething on the inside about something. Because they are so stifled in their emotional range, they will not let anything out for others to see. Somewhere in their lifetime, they were told that it was not okay to display any of their feelings nor have any value to their feelings. They simply allow people to walk all over them. When the passive person has had enough of the conflict, they will just take off.

You have heard about passive people before. Surely you know someone who knows someone who has had a father or mother just take off without explanation. Chances are that the conflict they were experiencing was developing for some time. But because they did not know how to address the conflict, it never came out. Until the day that they decided to take off and leave.

Passive behavior is destructive in that it does not allow someone to communicate their thoughts and feelings in an effective manner. In fact, it does not allow them to communicate their feelings at all. This is almost as alienating as being aggressive. People who are extremely passive usually have a very low self esteem and simply do not feel that their needs are worth fighting for. Until they get to the point where the conflict builds up and they just escape.


In many cases, a person who is very passive may not escape physically from the conflict, but in their own mind. They may appear distant to others. This is because they have found it more comforting to slip into a dream world where the conflict does not exist.

Passive Aggressive

A person who is passive aggressive has deep rooted anger issues but will not address them. Instead, they will act out in other manners that are destructive. They usually have a problem with being told what to do by authority figures and are generally very negative individuals. Being passive-aggressive is considered as having traits that are reflective of having a personality disorder. A person who has been diagnosed with a personality disorder needs a more than conflict coaching, although this is a step in the right direction.

Signs that someone is passive aggressive include:

-Harboring resentment and underlying seething;

-Communicating through indirect means – by using children, messengers or e-mails to

get their message to the individual who is causing the conflict;

-Negative self image and image of others around him or her;

-Angry all of the time but inability to express it appropriately. The person may resort to

hurting animals or other pets;

-Making snide remarks or giving backhanded compliments to people.

Someone who is passive aggressive can use a good dose of therapy to get to the root of his or her negative self image. Their negative self image does not only affect them, but others around them. Normally, someone who is passive aggressive learns this behavior in childhood. Chances are that there is a parent who also suffered with this issue.

If you have one of these communication styles, you will want to do something to overcome it and be able to communicate more effectively.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

September 2009
« Aug   Oct »

Blog Stats

  • 225,507 hits
%d bloggers like this: