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Anita Nelson

on 9 February 2016

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by Anita Nelson
James Rutter
Casey Webb
Venetia Welcome
The effect of being aggressive toward others will make people fearful. The aggressor will not be well liked or respected, and most likely resented for this behaviour. The aggressor will feel they are in control and be satisfied they can get others to do what they want. Feeling powerful as they can get their own way. (Assert Yourself! 2008)
Many traits of aggressive communication are considered inappropriate. These include behaviours such as physically hurting, ridiculing and yelling at people. Not all aggressive traits are unacceptable. Beneficial traits would be assertiveness and argumentativeness (Rancer Atgis 2006). Being able to enter into debate and argue a view point in a respectful manner is a skill useful in many areas of life.
Benefits and shortfalls
Non verbal indicators
Non verbal indicators
Benefits and shortfalls
Non verbal indicators
Benefits and shortfalls
The success of interpersonal relationships and therefore social, academic and professional success relies on the individual being a self-aware communicator. Understanding and identifying with individual styles of communication allows for recognition of strengths and weaknesses in the quest to be successful in relationships with others. This prezi provides an informational resource exploring sub-topics within four communication styles: passive, passive-aggressive, assertive and aggressive communication.
Passive communicators often avoid eye contact and present with slumped shoulders to position themselves physically lower than the person they are interacting with; this lowers the perceived threat of potential conflict. It is common for the person to fidget nervously, especially if in a position where a challenge may arise or a decision needs to be made that impacts others.
Passive communicators are often relaxed, easy to get along with in a superficial context, polite, and gentle. For the passive communicator, avoiding conflict and rejection are primary motivators that provide personal benefit. The passive communicator’s fear of letting people know their feelings "even when being treated unfairly" (Steinberg 2006 pg.90) can result in feelings of injustice, manipulation, and bullying.
The passive person believes others have a higher value or importance. They commonly deny their own feelings and are hesitant to share opinions. It is rare for the passive communicator to feel that their needs or desires are met as “they often submit to the demands of others even when it not in their best interests” (Steinberg 2006 p. 90) Consequently, It can be difficult for the passive communicator to build solid reciprocal relationships.
Language used by a passive communicator stems from the belief that they are less important than the other person in the interaction. They are “reluctant to state opinions, share feelings, or assume responsibility for their actions” (Steinberg 2006 p.90). They use indirect, agreeable language and few emotive words relating to feelings. Language used is vague and non-committal, leaving room for the other person to lead and dominate the interaction.

Passive: "Accepting or allowing what happens or what others do, without active response or resistance" (Oxford Dictionary Online, n.d)

Communication: "The successful conveying or sharing of ideas and feelings" (Oxford Dictionary Online, n.d)

Passive: "Accepting or allowing what happens or what others do, without active response or resistance"

Communication: "The successful conveying or sharing of ideas and feelings"

An aggressive communicator is only
interested in their own rights and will
seek to for fill their needs by being
"verbally and/or physically abusive".
(UK Violence Intervention and Prevention Centre n.d. para. 5)

An assertive person comes across as polite and friendly, they always look clean, well groomed and comfortable. They speak clearly and are mindful of the tone of their voice, whilst maintaining eye contact and a good posture. (Bishop 2013 p. 2-3).

Assertive people take responsibility for their own actions and feelings, while considering the other persons point of view. Often they compromise to find a solution and consider it a win-win for both sides
(Kuhnke 2012 Ch. 6).
Building healthy relationships is one of the main benefits of an assertive person, which in turn improves confidence and good self esteem.
The only downside to being assertive is not everything will go your way.
(Schab 2009 p. 90).

In conclusion most people will use all four types of communication styles at some stage in their lives, depending on the situation they are in. Whilst passive, aggressive and passive-aggressive have their own benefits, being assertive is the key to co-existing in harmony with each other.

Definition: "Of or denoting a type of behavior or personality characterized by indirect resistance to the demands of others and an avoidance of direct confrontation."
(Oxford University Press 2016)

Example: “I will appear cooperative but I’m not.”
(Benedict 2015)

Passive-aggressive behavior often comes from resenting (sometimes unconsciously) a situation or person and feeling powerless to express their anger (for fear of retaliation or consequences).

Passive-aggressive language is often similar or identical to passive communication, but with the opposite intent or feeling behind it. Sarcastic language is quite characteristic, or subtle sabotage, such as offering to help but then being as annoying as possible whilst helping. The verbal and body language is keyed to avoiding direct confrontation or obviously displaying true feelings. (Benedict 2015)

Passive-aggressiveness may be expressed with mismatched tone and anger during a positive task, such as angrily agreeing to do something and slamming the door behind them.
Whilst passive-aggressive behaviour does discharge anger and resentment, it does not deal with it and leaves it to become or continue to be a problem for all parties. This may eventually alienate the person from those around them. (Benedict 2015)
A passive-aggressive will be less disruptive and unlikely to physically intimidate than a purely aggressive person, but the disruptive anger will still cause as much or more harm to a group, as it can persist as minor constant sabotage.
It is not without its benefits though, an Australian study found that a passive-aggressive approach to 'cracking Christmas crackers' yielded a 95% win rate. (Huang et al. 2014 p. 694-696)
Oxford University Press 2016, passive-aggressive, Oxford Dictionaries, viewed 14 January 2016, <http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/passive-aggressive>.

Benedict, C 2015, Assertiveness and the Four Styles of Communication, Serenity Online Therapy, viewed 14 January 2016, < http://serenityonlinetherapy.com/assertiveness.htm>.

Huang, B E, Clifford, D & Lê Cao, K 2014, 'The surprising benefit of passive-aggressive behaviour at Christmas parties: being crowned king of the crackers', The Medical Journal of Australia, 11, 201, 694-696.

Steinberg, S 2006, Introduction to communication, Mega Digital, South Africa.
Oxford University Press 2016, passive, Oxford Dictionaries, viewed 14 January 2016, <http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/passive >.

Oxford University Press 2016, communication, Oxford Dictionaries, viewed 14 January 2016, <http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/communication>.

Bishop, S 2013, Develop your assertiveness, 3rd edn, Kogan Page, London.

Kuhnke, E 2012, Communication Skills for Dummies, For Dummies, England.

Schab, L 2009, Cool, calm and confident, New Harbinger Publications Inc, California.

Violence Intervention and Prevention Center 2014, The Four Basic Styles of Communication, University of Kentucky, viewed 14 January 2016, <https://www.uky.edu/hr/sites/www.uky.edu.hr/files/wellness/images/Conf14_FourCommStyles.pdf>.

Rancer, S, & Avtgis, T 2006, Argumentative and Aggressive Communication, Sage Publications Inc, United States.

Michel, F, & Fursland, A 2008, Assert Yourself Module 2: How to recognise assertive behaviour, Department of Health Centre for Clinical Interventions, viewed 14 January 2016, < http://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/docs/Assertmodule%202.pdf>.

Passive 2013, (Passive man) [image], Passive-200x300.jpg,Orian Performance Group, viewed 14 January 2016, <http://www.orianperformancegroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Passive-200x300.jpg>.

Psychology Today 2015, (Men with bats) [image], 53837-81432.jpeg, Psychology Today, viewed 14 January 2016, <https://www.psychologytoday.com/sites/default/files/styles/thumbnail/public/basics2/53837-81432.jpeg?itok=U42dXtkD>.

2015, (Angry Boss) [image], 69b564e0-3566-11e5-8398-ff13d4cfbfe3_angry-boss.jpg, s.img.com, viewed 14 January 2016, <https://s.yimg.com/os/publish-images/news/2015-07-28/69b564e0-3566-11e5-8398-ff13d4cfbfe3_angry-boss.jpg>.

Milena, A 2012, 'Carly Fiorina in São Paulo, Brazil' [image], Failed CEO Carly Fiorina, with $40m retirement package, says union pensions too high, America Blog, viewed 14 January 2016, <https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/62/CarlyFiorina49416.jpeg>.

Assertive users always use “I” statements and appropriate language, they don’t swear or talk rudely.
Generally they speak clearly and provide logical reasons to support their message. (Schab 2009 p. 99).

The most successful way to build healthy and honest relationships with family, friends, colleagues and people in general is to be assertive. It is a skill that is easy to acquire with practice even if you are not an assertive person. All it means is that you should be respectful of others rights and feelings without compromising your own rights and feelings. (Schab 2009 p. 6-8).
Non verbal indicators
Benefits and shortfalls
Aggressors will often use menacing language peppered with insults or mockery to degrade other people. Their voice can be firm, escalating to shouting using a sarcastic or harsh tone. Expressing their opinion as fact to have the last word and dominate the situation is also common. (Assert Yourself! 2008)
Aggressors will most likely use gestures such as "pointing, fist clenching and leaning forward or over"(Assert Yourself! 2008 pg 5) to express their dominance. Moving into someone's personal space and staring them down, can also be an intimidation tactic. (Assert Yourself! 2008)
(Passive 2013)
Psychology Today 2015)
Milena, A 2012)
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