How To Handle Different Communication Styles + Reduce Drama

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Aggressive Communication

Bad communication divides us more than distance ever could

Source: LaylaBird / Getty

The aggressive communicator will come off as confident and intimidating. Their behaviors are easy to spot, but not always easy to deal with. This communication style is characterized by:

  • Putting one’s needs above all others’
  • Stating thoughts and feelings with no regard for how that impacts others
  • Stepping on others to get what one wants
  • Being defensive or hostile when confronted
  • Saying hurtful things
  • Body language includes getting in one’s personal space, eye rolling, finger pointing and arm crossing

Naturally, being around this type of communicator can be difficult. It can feel impossible to get your needs met or to have a productive conversation.

How to handle an aggressive communicator

While this can be frustrating at first, try simply listening. Sometimes, people become aggressive when they feel they need to, because nobody listened to or respected them when they were more passive. Prove to them that the aggression isn’t necessary by calmly and politely hearing them out.

If you remain calm, their own aggressive behaviors will stand out against yours, and they could become aware that they’re coming on too strong. This could encourage them to calm down, without you having to say anything. Reiterate their feelings so they feel heard, and respond in a calm, measured way. If you respond aggressively, they will likely feel justified in their aggression, and the situation will escalate. However, if you respond respectfully and peacefully, they might recognize that they don’t need to be hostile.


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