Communication Skills

Learning effective communication skills is an important step in the healing process.

Most communication falls into one of four categories; Passive, Aggressive, Passive-Aggressive, Assertive.

Understanding communication and learning how to communicate assertively can have a positive impact on our relationships.

Passive communication is timid, self-effacing, withdrawn, avoidant and lacks confidence. Passivity may present as people-pleasing, feeling used and put-on by others. Many victims of emotional abuse are passive communicators.

Aggressive communication is forceful, direct, blunt and controlling. Verbal aggression may include honesty without empathy. Aggressive communicators can potentially be emotionally domineering and abusive.

Passive-Aggressive communication is indirect, manipulative, covert and emotionally dishonest. A passive-aggressive communicator may report one feeling but show something entirely different in their attitudes and behaviours. What the feel on the inside is not necessarily being reflected on the outside causing confusion and frustration in others. Individuals with narcissistic or border-line personality traits often communicate passive-aggressively.

Assertive communication is honest, direct thoughtful, compassionate and confident. Assertive communicators are open and firm, grounded in their right to express themselves responsibly. Assertive communicators temper their honesty with empathy and are willing to compromise when appropriate. They trust their own judgement against manipulative, coercive behaviours.

Assertiveness is a way of life, embodying your right to be treated with humanity and respect. How we communicate has a significant impact on how others perceive and respond to us. Assertive communication allows us to affirm  boundaries without feeling guilty or obligated.


Emotionally Dishonest (withholding ones true feelings)
Indirect (hints, insinuation, ambiguous, mixed messages)
With holding true self for fear of loss or failure
"I always Lose"


Inappropriately honest (brutally honest with no regard for the feelings or wellbeing of others)
Taking Credit / Self promoting at the expense of others
Blaming and Shaming
Overriding other peoples sense of self for personal gain
"I must always win"


Emotionally Dishonest (words and behaviours do not match up)
Indirect and avoidant
Denying of self, followed by Self-promotion
Inflicting guilt trips to achieve compliance
Self promoting at the expense of others
Withholding true self out of fear of obligation
"No one lets me win, and its their fault"


Appropriately Honest
Firm and Direct
Respecting of self and others
Empathetic of others
Openly expressive of thoughts, feelings and needs
Confident without being arrogant
Willing to compromise appropriately
Showing concern for self and others wellbeing
"We don't have to compete"