Counsellor & Psychotherapist
Masters of Counselling & Psychotherapy UofA
Member of the ACA College of Supervisors
Level 3 Member Australian Counselling Association
Unsplash, Chris Sabor
Communication is the absolute foundation of all our experiences in the world. We need to get it right so we can get our world right.
The difficulty is that often for no fault of our own the teachers we have had haven't been the best. We have picked up faulty ways of getting our needs met.
If life is not quite working out the way you would like then it might be time to do a self-check on your communication style.
Perhaps it is not everybody out there that has the problem?
There is a real difference between being aggressive and assertive.
It might be time for some aggressive 101.
You are an aggressive communicator if you do the following:
• Expresses thoughts, feelings and beliefs in a way which violates the rights of the other person. People feel drained after dealing with you.
• At the sign of a threat real or imagined they attack.
Aggressive speech is like this.
• Lots of sarcasm, fast, abrupt, and lots of blaming words.
• "You’d better watch out", or "If you don’t”, "You’ve got to be kidding" or "Don’t be stupid", "should", "bad", "ought".
• Sexual/racist remarks, "I haven’t got problems like yours".
• "Nobody want to behave like that" or "That’s a useless way to do it".
• "Haven’t you finished yet?" or "Why on earth did you do it like that"?
This is how the aggressive communicator acts:
• Getting into the other persons face, staring them down, pointing, fist clenching, fist shaking, leaning forward or over, crossing the arms, sneering or frowning when angry.
How does the aggressive communicator think?
• "I’ll get you before you can get me", "I’m out for number one".
• "It’s about winning, whatever the cost".
Unsplash, karl S
What are the payoffs?
• They feel like they are in control, and get things their way, and feel powerful.
The truth is, it is short term gain but long term pain.
• People will resent you, and you may start to feel paranoid or fearful.
• It is tiring trying to control everything and everyone.
• Successful relationships are built on respect when you are violating another’s rights it will lead to an unstable relationship.
• Deep down you know what you are doing is wrong and you will feel bad about it.
• To try and feel better about yourself you will need to put others down.
• Behaving this way is not the way to self confidence or self esteem.
With such a long list of negatives one would ask themselves, "Why on earth would anyone choose to communicate this way"?
The answer is simple because you didn't know any better. We all want the same things to be loved and to to love. To respect and be respected.
The problem is that not all of us have been taught effective ways to get those desires fulfilled. Maybe we have had a set of circumstances in our lives which have taught us that it is better to attack rather than risk losing face.
There are as many possibilities as there are humans. The point is if your communication style is aggressive then you are heading down the path of unsatisfactory relationships with self and others.