How to Improve Your Personal Communication with Others

Mental Health
12/10/20 - Marie Miguel

It’s important to communicate what you need and what you want with others. But it’s not so simple for some people. Personal communication styles differ from person to person. It’s helpful first to understand your particular type of communication before you start talking to another person. The truth is that communication is a psychological process. Let’s examine the different communication styles, and then we can talk about the best ways to get your point across to others.

Passive Communication 

Passive communication is not honest. The person communicating may apologize often and lack confidence or have low self-esteem. An individual who passively communicates infers things rather than says them directly. The problem with passive communication is that it doesn’t get the point across. An individual will hint at something but not say it outright. That’s why a passive communicator struggles to say what they mean. It could be because they lack confidence or don’t have emotional insight.

If you are a passive communicator, it could be that you are fearful of expressing your needs because you have been shunned in the past, and these issues are something you can discuss with a close friend or family member or a therapist. If you are managing communication with someone who possibly communicates, it can be frustrating. One way to deal with this type of person is to ask questions. You can only operate on the information that you’re given. If something is unclear, don’t be shy to express that to a passive communicator. It can help to ask them questions, so they have the opportunity to explain themselves.

Passive-Aggressive Communication 

Passive-aggressive communication is different from passive. Somebody who is passive-aggressive will allude to something because they want to take a dig at somebody else. Maybe they’re angry, but they can’t say it to the person, so they insult them in an underhanded way. Underneath the guise of being nice is aggression. You’ve likely heard the term backhanded compliment that is something that a passive-aggressive person does. They’re angry or hurt, but instead, they pretend that they’re trying to be helpful to another person.

If you struggle with being passive-aggressive, it’s essential to examine why you have difficulty saying what you mean. A therapist can help you tease these issues out and work through your communication. If you are talking to someone who is passive-aggressive, similar to speaking with a passive person, you can call them out. Let them know how what they’re saying makes you feel. Instead of asking questions, you might say how you feel. That can open up a conversation and may probe them to communicate directly.

Aggressive Communication

Aggressive communication is different from passive. A person who communicates aggressively is forceful in their opinion. They’re not shy to say what they mean, but they may try to force their opinion down your throat. Sometimes aggressive communicators yell or are overwhelming in the way that they talk to others. If you are dealing with an aggressive communicator, it’s okay to take space from that person. You can tell them, “I would like to have this conversation with you, but I feel uncomfortable with the way that you’re speaking to me.” It’s okay to take a break from that conversation if it makes you feel uncomfortable to talk to them.

A suited man frustrated on a phone

If you are an aggressive communicator yourself, it’s crucial to talk through why you feel like you need to be forceful in your opinions. The truth is that people will drown you out if you communicate aggressively because they feel like they’re not being heard and something isn’t being accomplished.

Assertive Communication 

The most effective type of communication is assertive. That means that a person knows what they want, and they say it aloud. It’s not aggressive; that’s a different form of speaking to others. You can communicate your needs, and you are direct when you have an assertive style of personal communication. Sometimes assertive communication can intimidate people. That may be because they might have a different type of communication.

Remember that if you are confident in your stance, that is what matters. All you need to do is express your opinion. Others won’t necessarily agree with you, but it’s good to come to a compromise, and assertive communication is the goal.

Working with Different Styles of Communication 

Your communication style may be passive while another person’s way of expressing themselves is assertive. You can still communicate with each other. It’s essential to meet one another halfway. One way to do this is by active listening. A person is likely to hear you and reciprocate when they feel heard themselves. Personal communication styles are fascinating. If you are curious to learn more about psychology and communication, you can visit Mind Diagnostics.

Remember that personal communication styles can change the more that you work on yourself. Online therapy is an excellent place to talk about how you communicate and work through any psychological problems you may have. You can role-play with your therapist and talk through challenging scenarios. Learning about the way that you communicate can help you in a variety of scenarios in your life.

Avatar photo
Marie Miguel

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with Mind-Diagnostics.org. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

Latest Articles from Marie Miguel
Related Articles
woman holding a journal with a flower in it

Enough is as good as a feast. I’ve been thinking about this quote a lot. A little while back I wrote about my recent molar pregnancy experience. It’s a rare chromosomal abnormality in a pregnancy that leads to you growing a tumor instead of a fetus. Not only did I lose the pregnancy that I […]

Read More