Communication States

Today,  I will be expanding upon the idea posted in this post.

Communication can be broadly classified into the following four states – Passive, Aggressive, Passive Aggressive and Assertive.In my opinion Passive Aggressive is the most undesirable state and needs to be avoided at any cost. This is the criminal state of mind that believes “I’m OK, you are not OK”. Individuals who communicate in this state pretend that everything is fine with the other person, while plotting to undermine them.When the plot is finally executed, the other person is surprised by the treachery.

Being Assertive on the other hand is the most desirable state to be in.The Assertive person communicates with the intent of creating a win-win situation. This style respects the rights and opinions of the other person as well as our own.

We don’t use one style all the time, but our predominant style of communication can be classified into one of the above.

Depending on the situation and context, we may have to adjust our state of communication too. To achieve this transition, knowledge of the present state is crucial.For example, when dealing with an entity which has more power than us, The Government, it is better to be passive. We could get into trouble if we break the Law.

From a contextual perspective, it helps to remain passive when dealing with problems that are outside the sphere of our influence and over which we cannot exert any influence.Events that occurred in the past are typical examples too.

Aggressive behavior too needs to be invoked in certain contexts.When we are sure about a fact or threat based on which we need to act immediately, aggression helps in wedding out the obstacles. 

Late one evening in 1996, my uncle was driving home with his wife and two daughters when an angry mob of protesters tried to stop them. My uncle slowed the car and then  accelerated into the mob. The confused mob slashed at his car with sticks and other sharp objects, but they managed to break away. They still recall the incident with horror.My uncle’s aggression and quick assessment of the situation saved their lives.

The state to aspire be in is Assertive. The assertive person operates on the principle “I’m ok. You’re ok.” This person will respect himself and respect the opinion of the other person. Being assertive is not only good for communication and execution of ideas, it is also very good for managing stress.

As the assertive person takes responsibility for his words and actions and will feel more in control of her life. This helps reduce stress. Being assertive will improve your self esteem and you will start earning respect.


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