Reduce distress in relationships by communicating with confidence
“ I avoid conflict at all costs! ”
When we have a passive communication style, we have been conditioned to believe that it is best to keep what we think, feel and need to ourselves. This drive is motivated by a strong fear of rejection and abandonment.
There is a connection between a passive communication style and a traumatic response. Those with passive styles may have learned early in their life to control expressing themselves in order to reduce perceived threats.
As you can imagine, having a passive communication style is incredibly problematic for building authentic connections. Passive communicators are people pleasers, and can get along well with everyone. However, you become a reflection of the needs and desires of those around you, with the “YOU” not actually being part of the equation.
This sets your relationships up for failure, leading to a host of problems: you feel upset, walked on, taken advantage of, angry, frustrated, alone and isolated which ignites or exasperates symptoms of anxiety and depression.
We often hear from those with a passive style say : If they loved me or if they cared about me or respected me they would know I needed _________”
The truth is, they don’t. No one knows what you need unless you tell them.
The solution, you guessed it! Assertiveness. Here are a few steps to start your process of aiming towards assertiveness:
- Start developing your self-awareness as in internal process, just for you. Check in with yourself when you are around or talking to others, ask: What do I want? Did I feel a desire towards something and then push it away? How do I feel about their request? Keep tabs on how you feel and start to note any patterns.
- Stop defaulting to yes! Take the time you need to figure out if you actually want to say yes. You could very well decide that indeed, you want to say yes. However, learning to give ourselves some time before we commit gives us an opportunity to check in with ourselves.
Keep a look out for the rest of our communication styles blog posts and if you or your relationship needs support, don’t hesitate to reach out!