Hey Modish Mommies! I wanted to write about a topic that impacts all of us. It is something that everyone uses and is crucial to how we live our lives. Today I want to discuss communication. It has been proven that the majority of human communication is non-verbal. I am always astounded by this when I think about impact. I find myself making the assumption that unless I say it, the message hasn’t been conveyed. However, if the majority of communication is non-verbal, nothing has to be said at all for a message to be disseminated. In any event, I want to talk about verbal communication in this post. We all have different ways of communicating with others. Some of us are loud and outspoken and have no problem speaking our mind. Others take a more gentle approach which can be equally effective in communicating an opinion. Finally, there are others that really try to minimize or avoid communication in general, preferring to utilize it only when absolutely necessary.
Personally I have experienced a progression in the way that I communicate. Being an introvert by nature, when I was younger I had a difficult time communicating in large groups and with new people. Communication with people I wasn’t familiar with or in public settings was quite anxiety provoking for me. A large part of this is who I am at the core of my being, but I also grew up in a home with a mom who was very outspoken and articulate. She is definitely an extrovert, and very comfortable to speak up and say what’s on her mind. Particularly in the defense of one of her children. So I always felt that much like many of my siblings, her personality and assertive way of communicating enhanced my biological tendency toward introversion as it related to my communication style as a child.
Since attending college, starting my career, leaving my family to live internationally and in different states, and becoming a mother, I have definitely become more comfortable communicating my opinion in any setting. I have also felt that it was important in my career field to speak in public settings when necessary for training purposes. As a result I have always taken opportunities to provide training when presented to develop my public speaking skills. Although not my favorite thing to do, I have become more comfortable and competent at public speaking in general.
This leads me to the point of this post. There are three main types of communicators. They include the assertive communicator, passive communicator, and aggressive communicator. Although each communication style serves its purpose on a more limited basis, one is more effective than the other. Typically if you are assertive, “you express yourself effectively and stand up for your point of view, while also respecting the rights and beliefs of others (www.mayoclinic.org).” Communicating in an assertive manner can impact your overall sense of well-being dramatically. By doing so it demonstrates that you respect yourself and allows you to express yourself instead of suppressing the issues or concerns that are on your mind. It is the most healthy communication style.
Aggressive communicators say whatever they feel often in a loud and intimidating way, without regard for how it impacts others. It is defined as “a method of expressing needs and desires that does not take in to account the welfare of others (www.verywellmind.com).” Aggressive communicators only care about their point of view and one may feel bullied after conversing with an aggressive communicator. They do not listen well to others and tend to alienate others while using this style of communication. This is not a healthy form of communication as it is harmful to others and mostly one sided.
Lastly, passive communicators tend to be compliant and submissive. They speak minimally and almost seem to avoid communication. They would prefer to put themselves down in an effort to praise or highlight others. They often avoid confrontation even if it is required to advocate for themselves. It is defined as being “a form of communication in which the person does not share his or her wants, needs, desires, or opinions (www.lotusgroup.biz)”. This is also not considered to be the healthiest of communication styles because it does not allow for the individual to properly express their needs and desires.
However, more often than not it has been my experience that many people have a prominent communication style but also utilize one or both of the other two communication styles from time to time and depending on the situation. Since assertive communication is the healthiest it is important to learn to be assertive when it impacts your personal and professional well-being. Challenge yourself to speak up for yourself in a direct way that is not threatening to others. I can guarantee you, by learning to be an assertive communicator when it matters most, you will be positively impacting your overall emotional state. I know that through the years I have definitely become more assertive at times when it matters in my life with regard to my role as a