It may be necessary to use a certain style of communication in certain situations, or perhaps one style works better with some people than it does with others. A person’s choice of the 5 types of communication styles often depends on the person to whom they are speaking. Although some styles are more effective than others, knowing how to spot the communication style of others can build healthier encounters throughout your day.
As human beings, we are capable of being flexible with our communication styles, but noticing communication styles allows us to adjust our expectations and understand how we can respond to certain situations. In this post, we are going to discuss the five types of communication styles and how you can properly decipher each communication style.
The 5 Types of Communication Styles
As mentioned, there are five widely used communication styles, including:
- Manipulative communication Style
- Passive-aggressive communication style
- Passive communication style
- Aggressive communication style
- Assertive communication style
Psychologists, philosophers, and researchers point to assertive communication as being the most effective style of communication for the best results, whereas manipulative and passive-aggressive are the least effective communication style.
Manipulative Communication Style
Manipulative communicators use deceitful practices, and cunningness to control a conversation in order to arrive at their own outcome. They often have a goal of controlling those around them. When communicating with a manipulative communicator, you will notice that they almost never say what they mean, but prefer to be as obscure as possible to get their way, hoping that you won’t notice what they are doing. Manipulative communication style is the type of communication that leads to future conflict because it is deceptive and makes others feel as though they are being talked down to. It is a goal of those whose default is manipulative communication style, to learn how to be an assertive communicator.
An example of what manipulative communication style might sound like is:
You are so lucky to have this house. I wish I had parent’s who would buy me a house. I would actually be grateful, but I can’t afford it.
Manipulative communication style is about putting down someone, making them feel guilty, frustrated, irritated, resentful. and you never know where you stand with a manipulative communicator. Additionally, they will fish for compliments, try to control others, make others feel bad for them, or be indirect in asking for what they truly need.
Passive-Aggressive Communication Style
This style of communication adopts an indirect combination of both passive and aggressive styles of communication. Depending on the situation, the passive style becomes more prominent while the aggressive style is subtle. Alternatively, it is the other way round in some contexts. This style of communication can come out as confusing and unreliable because one cannot really tell which style a person really wants to pass across.
An example of what a passive-aggressive communicator might sound like is
‘’Oh, don’t you worry about me. I will take care of myself…like I always do’’.
This might sound like a perfect reply to a request, however, it has an undertone of passive-aggressiveness because you are not so sure what the speaker is trying to communicate.
Passive communication style
Passive communication has distinctive characteristics you can identify. Qualities such as finding it hard to express themself with the right words. As a result, they bottle up their emotions out of fear of being contradicted. Nevertheless, it leads to pent-up frustration and anger that never goes away. In addition, passive communication fails to build the self-confidence necessary for effective communication.
An example of what a passive communicator might sound like is:
‘’I am okay with whatever you all decide to go with’’
You can recognize passive communication in friends and colleagues by their inability to say ”no” to events that are unsuitable for them or could ultimately ruin them. Regardless of their innate desire to please everyone, a passive person should learn to set healthy boundaries.
Aggressive Communication Style
An aggressive communication style comes from a desire for victory at all costs. Those who engage in aggressive communication feel that their contributions to the conversation are more important than anyone else, and they often lose their content in the tone of their delivery.
It is the opposite of an assertive communication style in terms of aloofness and the fact that they belittle other people’s opinions because it is not coming from them.
An example of what an aggressive communicator might sound like is:
‘’You are actually more naive than I thought if you believe it will work’’
Assertive Communication Style
This is considered to be the most effective communication style. People who utilize this style are rather self-assured but ensure that they do not denigrate others or belittle them. Through active listening and openly communicating the needs and wants, these individuals do not resort to manipulation or pushing limits, but seek compromise and consensus. The use of assertive communication can effectively deal with many situations and have a positive effect on solving problems.
The idea of assertive communication is to use “I” statements, such as
“I feel that you should be honest with me about this situation,” instead of “You should be more honest with me about this situation’’.
How to Spot a Communication Style in the Wild
These four communication styles are adaptable. When studies, people are often flexible with these communication styles in such a way that no one communicates with a single style. We often divert from one style to the other. However, it is easy to identify the more prominent communication style adopted by each individual.
Many different factors determine what styles people choose, including age, the circumstances, and who they are speaking with. You won’t have a ton of blind spots if you combine all five styles. They each have their own benefits and drawbacks.
It is important to note that these communication styles are not limited to verbal cues. Communication among human beings can be comprehensive with mere body language. It is encouraged to use verbal cues to communicate your feelings to people so as to ensure assertiveness. We should also note that our communication styles have lasting effects on the other parties.
Communication styles emphasize how a speaker communicates information during a conversation. This can be done in a variety of ways, and understanding the preferred method of communication can ensure that your message is being conveyed effectively. You can adjust your style depending on the kind of communication you’re having with the other person. Practicing this skill will make you much better at communicating.
- 4 Types of Communication Styles – Alvernia University
- 4 Communication Styles (+Which one is the Most Effective) – g2
- 5 Communication Styles – Claire Newton
- Communication Styles – Valamis
- Your Communication Style – Aim Higher
- Understanding Your Communication style [PDF] – Toastmasters International
- 10 Tips for Healthy Communication in Relationships – Niki Maria