In many parts of the world, there are many dysfunctional families who never had a chance to live a life with healthy relationship. This is very common especially in an industrial world where people are alienated against each other and are so dissociated even unto themselves mentally, emotionally, and spiritually because of inorganic lifestyles that they are forced to live by. Of course, there are also other factors that cause this thing to happen and people or family members who grew up on this situation may have never learn (or are always having a hard time) to effectively and respectfully communicate and get their messages across. However, this can be avoided and even corrected.
In order to have a healthy relationship, people must learn these effective communication styles so that they can get what they want without compromising their needs and feelings and without sabotaging or disrespecting others. In this way, they can have the chance to grow and heal themselves and others for a better quality of life. Being a skilled communicator inside and outside your home will help you have healthy and meaningful relationships in your family and even community. With this being said, here are the things you must consider for you to be an effective communicator and help your self heal and grow:
Do not be passive – passive people are mostly the ones who have low self-esteem who often fail to set boundaries for themselves. Instead of expressing properly the things that they want, they avoid giving their opinions and telling how they really feel about certain things. They do not assert themselves because oftentimes they believe that they are wrong that is why they often allow others to take advantage on them or to manipulate, abuse, and subjugate them. This is very unhealthy because it often makes a person anxious, depressed, hopeless, and resentful because their needs are being ignored. Mostly, they are unable to grow, heal, or have a healthy relationship because their issues are never resolved.
Do not be aggressive – aggressive communicators are mostly the ones who are stuck in powerlessness possibly because of physical and emotional abuse in childhood. They often violate the rights of others just to get what they need. Sometimes, this is being done by using physical and emotional abuse, blame, intimidation, and humiliation. They often act in discourteous and threatening ways and they are mostly dismissive and do not listen well. They also interrupt others while speaking and they use loud and demanding voice while having a piercing eye contact and over-bearing posture. The result is that they alienate others while generating fear and hatred that is why they are unable to resolve conflict or have healthy relationships.
Avoid passive-aggressive communication – passive-aggressive communication stems from an extreme sense of powerlessness and repressed resentment. They appear to agree and be cooperative but consciously or unconsciously doing things that show the opposite. These kinds of people usually feels powerless to directly deal with the issues that is why sometimes, what they do is they try to annoy or sabotage others to express anger. For example, they smile when angry or use sarcasm to criticize or put others down. Usually, the impacts of this to a person are alienation, emotional isolation, and helplessness. They use indirect approach to issues and there needs are never really addressed.
Be assertive – people who are appropriately assertive are people with healthy self-esteem and have respect for self and others. They express their needs, feelings, and opinions directly, clearly, and respectfully. So if you want to be assertive, use “I” statement when you talk or explain something. Acknowledge your mistake, listen sincerely and do not interrupt others while they are speaking. If you are trying to address something, just relax your body posture and maintain a good eye contact while speaking in a calm and respectful tone. Assertive people stand up for their rights while respecting other’s rights. In this way, you’ll feel in control of your life you’ll be more connected to others and feel good about your self. Be willing to communicate and resolve conflict so that you can allow your life and others to grow and heal and have healthy relationship.
As a closing thought, we can say that sometimes, these three communication style (except assertiveness) can also be useful. Sometimes, there are circumstances that you have to be passive, aggressive, or passive-aggressive for you to get what you want to save your life. But most of the time, if you know that you are not hurting others, you really have to be assertive.
Based on the ideas of Couselor Carl