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MBSR week 5: Communication Styles

This week in the MBSR program we focused on different communication styles. Until now, the focus has been in observing ourselves from within, but now we added the interaction with others into the scope of observation. During the week, I have closely observed my communication styles with different people, especially with the closest ones. When I have analyzed my ways of communicating of behaving before – and I have been doing it for quite a long time – there has always been judgement in my thinking. Now, the purpose was to learn to simply observe and accept the communication styles in different situations, without analyzing, judging or labeling them as good or bad.

I am not going into details on how the week went or what kind of communication styles I recognized in myself, I keep those in my journal. However, what I noticed was that I used different communication styles in different moments, depending on the environment and the person I talked with. It was also very liberating to write down my journal without any judgement. My old self would have judged and become very upset on part of the things I wrote down. But now, I chose to let go of all that and just observed.

The learning of observing your communication styles is to become aware of how we interact with others and accepting ourselves as we are. In case we notice a need to change something in the way we communicate, that’s totally ok. But change can happen only after we have fully become aware on where we are now. And not only becoming aware, but to really accept it. It is pretty easy to observe our behavior, but the hardest part is to go beyond that, towards the acceptance. Our minds would so easily want to refuse and fight against accepting anything that feels too uncomfortable to accept. And that is exactly the reason why we should let go of any kind of judgement towards ourselves. To become capable to accept, let go and move forward.

Don’t fight. Let go. Breathe.

Below you can find some aspects of passive, assertive and aggressive communication styles. As a reminder, the below are only part of all possible traits, as the purpose here is to give an outlook of the different styles.

Passive communication style

– Avoiding saying what you really think or want to say

– Letting others decide for you

– Not being clear in communication

– Relying on body language more than words, thinking others will understand what you mean

– Looking for acceptance from others

– Avoiding conflicts and uncomfortable situations

Assertive communication style

– Easy to communicate honest opinions, thoughts and emotions

– Making your own decisions

– Good listener

– Calm, self-conscious behavior

– Open for change and self-development

– Looking for respect from others

Agressive communication style

– Saying what you want while neglecting others’ feelings

– Blaming others

– Arrogant and cold attitude

– Feeling of being better than others

– Angry and aggressive in front of others

– Easily offended and need to defend yourself

Do you recognize yourself in some of the above communication styles? Let me know in the comments below!

x Mari Susanna

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