Passive Communication

During passive communication, a person prioritises the needs, wants, and feelings of others, even at their own expense. The person does not express their own needs, or does not stand up for them. This can lead to being taken advantage of.

  • Quiet/Soft spoken
  • Allows others to take advantage
  • Poor eye contact / looks down or away
  • Lack of confidence

Aggressive Communication

Through aggressive communication, a person expresses that only their own needs, wants, and feelings matter. The other person is bullied, and their needs are ignored.

  • Speaks in a loud or overbearing way
  • Wants their own way
  • Frequently interrupts or does not listen
  • Use of criticism, humiliation, and domination

Assertive Communication

Assertive communication emphasizes the importance of both peoples’ needs.

  • Willing to compromise
  • Confident tone / body language
  • Good eye contact
  • Listens and does not interrupt

Example

Scenario A friend asks to borrow your lawn mower. You need this each weekend
Passive I don’t know, I guess its ok. When do you need it?
Aggressive No! Don’t be stupid. Get one of your own.
Assertive I need the mower at the weekends but you could borrow it during the week.

 

Practice

Scenario Your daughter stays out late. She never turns up to meals.
Passive
Aggressive
Assertive

 

Scenario Your partner left a mess in the house, and you’re worried about what you have found.
Passive
Aggressive
Assertive

 

Scenario When you go out your partner always drinks more than others
Passive
Aggressive
Assertive

 

Scenario A person showed up at your house uninvited to see your son. You’re suspicious about his motives.
Passive
Aggressive
Assertive