full

full
Published on:

24th Jan 2023

The Basics Are Not So Basic

• The best mindset to adopt in order to become a better communicator is the one that will best allow you to connect, meet your needs, solve problems, and express yourself.

• Begin by asking yourself what your default communication style is: aggressive, passive-aggressive, or manipulative. None of these styles actually achieves the ultimate goal of communication, however.

• The way you communicate is a choice. Assertive communication is the ability to express needs, wants, thoughts, and feelings directly without disrespecting or controlling others. Mature conversationalists are self-controlled, balanced, relaxed, open, and respectful.


• Communicating well is simple and easy, but we need to remove the formidable psychological barriers that stand in the way. With awareness, we can remove them and improve our communication skills.


#AggressiveCommunicator #Assertive #AssertiveCommunicator #Communication #CommunicationStyle #Communicator #Manipulation #Manipulative #ManipulativeCommunicator #Nonverbally #Passive #Passiveaggressive #PassiveAggressiveCommunicator #PassiveCommunicator #TheBasicsAreNotSoBasic #RussellNewton #NewtonMG #PatrickKing #PatrickKingConsulting #SocialSkillsCoaching

Transcript
Speaker:

Communication is everything.

Speaker:

No matter who you are or what you are trying to achieve in your life, improving your communication

Speaker:

skills is a must.

Speaker:

It’s a strange fact that human beings are expected to just know how to communicate—despite

Speaker:

so many of us finding it challenging or unpleasant!

Speaker:

The truth is that good communication takes time, effort, and know-how.

Speaker:

It follows known principles and laws.

Speaker:

Luckily, being a charismatic speaker, empathetic listener, and skillful negotiator and mediator

Speaker:

is not something reserved for the select few—it’s something that anyone can do if only you understand

Speaker:

these laws.

Speaker:

There is certainly not enough space in just one book to cover all the multifaceted ways

Speaker:

that communication can be finetuned and tweaked.

Speaker:

But in the following chapters, we’re going to explore some of the most popular concepts

Speaker:

and principles so you feel empowered to start making positive changes right now.

Speaker:

One idea that we will return to frequently is the overall purpose of communication.

Speaker:

We reach out to one another to connect, to meet our needs, to express ourselves, and

Speaker:

to solve problems.

Speaker:

Therefore, the best mindset to adopt on our mission to become better communicators is

Speaker:

the one that will best allow us to do just that: connect.

Speaker:

Identify Your Communication Style

Speaker:

When learning how to communicate better, it’s important to understand your exact starting

Speaker:

point, i.e., how good is your communication ability currently?

Speaker:

If you’ve picked up this book, chances are there are some aspects of the way you communicate

Speaker:

that you’ve identified as needing improvement.

Speaker:

But communication is not just one skill, but a complex mix of many.

Speaker:

On top of that, there are different styles of communication.

Speaker:

Even if you don’t consider yourself a good communicator currently, you have a unique

Speaker:

and characteristic type of communication whether you’re conscious of it or not.

Speaker:

As we move through the chapters of this book, we’ll be looking at concrete ways to consciously

Speaker:

choose the best and most effective styles of communication rather than default to unconscious

Speaker:

patterns that may not really be working for us.

Speaker:

When you can communicate well, your relationships take on an extra dimension of quality and

Speaker:

intimacy, you find yourself in conflict far less often, and you give yourself the gift

Speaker:

of being seen and understood so that other people have the best possible chance of meeting

Speaker:

your needs.

Speaker:

But without good communication, everything—relationships, work, conflict resolution—becomes much,

Speaker:

much harder, if not impossible.

Speaker:

Before we learn the best ways to communicate, let’s ask ourselves: how do we communicate

Speaker:

right now?

Speaker:

Take a look at the following communication style profiles and see if you can recognize

Speaker:

yourself in one (or more!) of them:

Speaker:

The Passive Communicator

Speaker:

For this kind of communicator, it’s all about what isn’t said.

Speaker:

Passive communication avoids expressing needs and wants, avoids conflict, and doesn’t

Speaker:

directly and obviously convey thoughts or feelings.

Speaker:

Imagine two friends going out for a drink.

Speaker:

The first asks the second where he’d like to go, the second says, “Oh, I don’t mind.

Speaker:

You choose somewhere.”

Speaker:

The first does choose somewhere, and the second doesn’t actually like it ... but doesn’t

Speaker:

say so.

Speaker:

Instead, he gets quietly annoyed and resentful.

Speaker:

When the first friend asks what’s wrong, the second says, “Oh, nothing, I’m fine,”

Speaker:

while very obviously not being fine!

Speaker:

At the end of the evening, things come to a head and the passive friend has an emotional

Speaker:

outburst, snapping rudely.

Speaker:

Immediately, he apologizes and acts submissive and guilty.

Speaker:

He goes home wondering how he keeps ending up in such emotionally fraught situations

Speaker:

when he works so hard to avoid confrontation.

Speaker:

Sound familiar?

Speaker:

You might have a passive communication style.

Speaker:

Here are some other clues:

Speaker:

•You apologize for expressing yourself or sharing your wants and needs

Speaker:

•You find it difficult to make decisions, lead, or take responsibility

Speaker:

•You sometimes feel like a victim

Speaker:

•You often prefer to opt out or let others take control

Speaker:

•You sometimes don’t know what you really think or feel

Speaker:

•You tend to blame others for bad things that happen

Speaker:

•You don’t generally feel in control of situations, or your life generally

Speaker:

Nonverbally, passive communicators tend to speak quietly and adopt a small, submissive

Speaker:

posture, or else fidget nervously or avoid eye contact.

Speaker:

The irony is that a passive communicator does not achieve the result they want with this

Speaker:

behavior.

Speaker:

Other people can feel frustrated, guilty, exasperated, or annoyed with you, or else

Speaker:

they may see the passivity as an invitation to take advantage.

Speaker:

On the other hand, a passive communicator can leave others feeling unwilling to help

Speaker:

anymore since their efforts are often met with a passive, defeatist attitude that lacks

Speaker:

energy and autonomy.

Speaker:

The Aggressive Communicator

Speaker:

Where the passive communicator expresses too little of their needs and wants, the aggressive

Speaker:

communicator goes too far in the other direction.

Speaker:

They know what they want, and they will be as demanding, intimidating, and even hostile

Speaker:

as they need to be to get it.

Speaker:

From this point of view, communication is a war, and the aggressive communicator is

Speaker:

one who intends to win and beat down their opponent.

Speaker:

This can be that office bully who is always loud, threatening, and abrasive, but it doesn’t

Speaker:

always have to be as blatant as this.

Speaker:

Sometimes, the one person in a family or friend group whom everyone is most afraid of is the

Speaker:

one who is simply ruthless and unpredictable.

Speaker:

An aggressive communicator might literally yell and scream, saying “Don’t be stupid!”

Speaker:

or scoffing loudly at what you say, but they can also be aggressive in their body language

Speaker:

or actions:

Speaker:

•Sharp, sudden, or “big” gestures

Speaker:

•Hogging space

Speaker:

•Towering over others

Speaker:

•Scowling, glaring, frowning

Speaker:

•Invading people’s personal space

Again, the result is ironic:

Most people might comply with an aggressive communicator, at

Again, the result is ironic:

least at first, but they quickly can grow defensive, uncooperative, and resentful.

Again, the result is ironic:

Nobody likes to be humiliated or hurt, and so the result is often less respect but more

Again, the result is ironic:

defensiveness and pushback—the last thing an aggressive communicator actually wants.

Again, the result is ironic:

The Passive-Aggressive Communicator

Again, the result is ironic:

We all know someone like this!

Again, the result is ironic:

This style of communication is as aggressive as the previous one, only it’s covert, i.e.,

Again, the result is ironic:

hidden and indirect.

Again, the result is ironic:

Things are not what they seem on the surface.

Again, the result is ironic:

Someone who communicates this way may feel angry but powerless to act in direct or ordinary

Again, the result is ironic:

ways—so they attempt to meet their needs and make themselves known passively instead.

Again, the result is ironic:

They may use heaps of sarcasm, they may complain bitterly and make a nuisance of themselves

Again, the result is ironic:

(without doing a thing to help themselves), or they may sulk until someone is forced to

Again, the result is ironic:

do something about it.

Again, the result is ironic:

Otherwise, they may gossip, issue false apologies, or give compliments that are actually insults

Again, the result is ironic:

in disguise.

Again, the result is ironic:

They may engage in “malicious compliance” (“I will give the appearance of cooperation

Again, the result is ironic:

but actually not be compliant at all”) or be difficult or unreliable instead of saying

Again, the result is ironic:

outright that they don’t want to do something.

Again, the result is ironic:

There is a devious, almost two-faced feeling to this type of communication that leaves

Again, the result is ironic:

other people feeling manipulated, exhausted, or confused.

Again, the result is ironic:

Imagine our two friends are out for a drink, and the passive one says, “Oh, you can choose

Again, the result is ironic:

a place.

Again, the result is ironic:

I don’t mind."

Again, the result is ironic:

Let’s say the other one has a passive-aggressive communication style, and although they resent

Again, the result is ironic:

being forced to make decisions all the time, they don’t feel able to come out and say

Again, the result is ironic:

that directly.

Again, the result is ironic:

So instead, they say, “Oh no, I understand.

Again, the result is ironic:

How could I forget that it’s always my job to sort these things out, right?"

Again, the result is ironic:

As they deliver with a sugary-sweet smile, there is plausible deniability in this, and

Again, the result is ironic:

when the other friend responds to the hidden aggression in it, the first one can act hurt

and confused:

“Calm down ... It was just a joke!"

and confused:

If pushed, the passive-aggressive friend may then apologize, but it will be an “apology”

with a sting in the tail:

“Sheesh, I said I’m sorry.

with a sting in the tail:

Forgive me for not being perfect all the time ... ”

with a sting in the tail:

The Manipulative Communicator

with a sting in the tail:

The above style has some overlap with one more style, that of the manipulative communicator.

with a sting in the tail:

This is the person who uses cunning and fakery to get what they want.

with a sting in the tail:

Manipulation is essentially an attempt to control other people and have them do, say,

with a sting in the tail:

and think as you’d like them to.

with a sting in the tail:

While the passive-aggressive communicator can hurt others indirectly in an attempt to

with a sting in the tail:

express their needs without really expressing them, the manipulator is characterized by

with a sting in the tail:

their ability to see others as tools, i.e., a means to an end.

with a sting in the tail:

So, a manipulative communication will cry “crocodile tears” in order to make the

with a sting in the tail:

other person feel sorry for them (instead of, for comparison, simply sharing their genuine

with a sting in the tail:

experience and the other person responding with genuine, uncoerced empathy!).

with a sting in the tail:

They may “ask without asking” or use emotional levers such as guilt and obligation to position

with a sting in the tail:

people in ways that suit them.

with a sting in the tail:

A manipulative communicator might see someone enjoying their lunch at work and say, seemingly

with a sting in the tail:

to no one in particular in a high-pitched, condescending voice, “Oh, that looks delicious.

with a sting in the tail:

Aren’t you lucky?

with a sting in the tail:

I wish I could eat such fancy stuff like that for lunch every day.

with a sting in the tail:

Oh well."

with a sting in the tail:

If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of someone “fishing for compliments,”

with a sting in the tail:

then know that this is another form of trying to control others—in these examples trying

with a sting in the tail:

to force someone to give you a compliment.

with a sting in the tail:

Manipulative communication can sometimes “work,” but more often than not it is rightly perceived

with a sting in the tail:

by others as artificial, condescending, and untrustworthy.

with a sting in the tail:

If outright tricks and lies are used, the communication style can fail badly and the

with a sting in the tail:

person not only fails to get what they want, but they shut off potential genuine avenues

with a sting in the tail:

of connection and understanding—shooting themselves in the foot, basically.

with a sting in the tail:

Now, in reading about these four communication styles, you can probably see that you’ve

with a sting in the tail:

been guilty of all of them at least at some point in your life.

with a sting in the tail:

You can also probably see that they overlap one another and that the tactics in each style

with a sting in the tail:

can vary in intensity.

with a sting in the tail:

Few people use any single type exclusively in their communication, but it is worth asking

with a sting in the tail:

honestly about patterns that you observe in yourself.

with a sting in the tail:

There are countless shades and nuances possible when we think about how not to communicate.

with a sting in the tail:

Ultimately, though, there’s one thing to keep in mind: None of them really WORK.

with a sting in the tail:

In other words, the above four communication styles are “bad” not because they use

with a sting in the tail:

lies, passivity, or force, but rather because they don’t achieve the main goal of communication.

with a sting in the tail:

Why do people communicate?

with a sting in the tail:

There are only a few primary reasons:

with a sting in the tail:

•To get our needs met

with a sting in the tail:

•To share our experience and express who we are

with a sting in the tail:

•To solve problems

with a sting in the tail:

•To connect with another human being

with a sting in the tail:

The above communication styles are actually attempts to meet some or all of these goals.

with a sting in the tail:

Usually, however, they achieve the exact opposite result.

with a sting in the tail:

While it can be fun to identify annoying communication patterns in others, there is more to be gained

with a sting in the tail:

by honestly asking where we ourselves fall short of ideal communication patterns.

with a sting in the tail:

Do we have a tendency to be aggressive, passive, passive-aggressive, or manipulative?

with a sting in the tail:

Or even all four?

with a sting in the tail:

It helps to be aware of maladaptive communication strategies, but let’s also look at how we

with a sting in the tail:

can best communicate, i.e., how we can meet our needs, express ourselves, and solve problems

with a sting in the tail:

in a way that actually works.

with a sting in the tail:

The Assertive Communicator

with a sting in the tail:

This is a healthy, balanced, and conscious way of communicating.

with a sting in the tail:

It’s the ability to express needs, wants, thoughts, and feelings in a direct and assertive

with a sting in the tail:

way without ever disrespecting or controlling the way others think or feel, controlling

with a sting in the tail:

what they do, or undermining what they need.

with a sting in the tail:

This is the communication style that comes from a healthy self-esteem paired with a healthy

with a sting in the tail:

sense of respect and compassion for others.

with a sting in the tail:

In non-verbal expression, such people are self-controlled, balanced, relaxed, open,

with a sting in the tail:

and respectful—and that means respect for themselves and others.

with a sting in the tail:

Because of this, other people trust and like them, and if they don’t, at the very least

with a sting in the tail:

they know where they stand.

with a sting in the tail:

People do not feel obliged to take care of them or forced to do things they don’t want

with a sting in the tail:

to in order to appease them.

with a sting in the tail:

In the company of a person who communicates this way, things are clear, direct, mature,

with a sting in the tail:

respectful, and relaxed no matter the kind of conversation unfolding.

with a sting in the tail:

They can say, “You know what, to be honest, I don’t really feel like going out drinking

with a sting in the tail:

tonight.

with a sting in the tail:

I’m in the mood to just get some takeout and relax at home.

with a sting in the tail:

What do you think?

with a sting in the tail:

We could still pick up a couple of beers ... ”

with a sting in the tail:

They can express their needs or desires clearly, directly, and politely (“Oh, wow, that looks

with a sting in the tail:

amazing!

with a sting in the tail:

Would you mind if I had a tiny taste?”) and simply don’t need to control others

with a sting in the tail:

or get them to take care of them (for example, no fishing for compliments needed because

with a sting in the tail:

you are happy and confident with your choices and don’t need external validation for them).

with a sting in the tail:

Finally, assertive communicators are flexible and can set healthy boundaries when necessary,

with a sting in the tail:

but they can also be open, trusting, and vulnerable at other times.

with a sting in the tail:

The first thing to realize is that certain communication styles are simply not effective

with a sting in the tail:

and will not get you the results you want.

with a sting in the tail:

How you communicate is a choice.

with a sting in the tail:

You can make the best choice when you consciously understand what you’re doing and why it’s

with a sting in the tail:

not working ... so you can choose something that will work.

with a sting in the tail:

Every endeavor to improve must begin with a level of self-awareness.

with a sting in the tail:

There is no shame or blame in identifying the current limits and blind spots in your

with a sting in the tail:

own communication style.

with a sting in the tail:

The quality of our relationships with others comes down to the quality of our communication.

with a sting in the tail:

And guess what?

with a sting in the tail:

The quality of our communication comes down one hundred percent to us and what we consciously

with a sting in the tail:

choose for ourselves.

with a sting in the tail:

For now, be curious about what isn’t working for you communication-wise.

with a sting in the tail:

Think back to conflicts or communication breakdowns in the past and see if you can identify some

with a sting in the tail:

of these less-than-helpful styles in yourself, the other person ... or both.

with a sting in the tail:

Before we continue, consider the attitude that inspires a healthy and assertive communication

with a sting in the tail:

style.

with a sting in the tail:

Read the following sentiments.

with a sting in the tail:

Do any seem particularly alien to you or difficult to agree with?

with a sting in the tail:

This might be a clue to the aspects of assertive communication you could develop in yourself:

with a sting in the tail:

“All people are equally entitled to express themselves as long as they’re respectful.”

with a sting in the tail:

“I’m confident in who I am, and I like myself."

with a sting in the tail:

“I have choices.”

with a sting in the tail:

“I take responsibility for getting my needs met."

with a sting in the tail:

“I am comfortable speaking honestly and clearly.”

with a sting in the tail:

“I am calm, positive, and measured when dealing with others.”

with a sting in the tail:

“I don’t need to or want to control others—I am more interested in self-mastery.”

with a sting in the tail:

“I like to seek compromise and balance.”

with a sting in the tail:

“I value my rights immensely.

with a sting in the tail:

I also wouldn’t dream of infringing on someone else’s rights."

with a sting in the tail:

“Nobody owes me anything."

with a sting in the tail:

In the interest of increasing self-awareness, ask yourself the following questions:

with a sting in the tail:

What is my main style of communication?

with a sting in the tail:

What aspect of assertive communication do I find most difficult?

with a sting in the tail:

What would I most like to improve about the way

Show artwork for Social Skills Coaching

About the Podcast

Social Skills Coaching
Become More Likable, Productive, and Charismatic
While everyone wants to make themselves and their lives better, it has been hard to find specific, actionable steps to accomplish that. Until now...

Patrick King is a Social Interaction Specialist, in other words, a dating, online dating, image, and communication, and social skills coach based in San Francisco, California. He’s also a #1 Amazon best-selling dating and relationships author with the most popular online dating book on the market and writes frequently on dating, love, sex, and relationships.

He focuses on using his emotional intelligence and understanding of human interaction to break down emotional barriers, instill confidence, and equip people with the tools they need for success. No pickup artistry and no gimmicks, simply a thorough mastery of human psychology delivered with a dose of real talk.

About your host

Profile picture for Russell Newton

Russell Newton