How To Communicate//Learn Something New

To follow-up with my previous post on Learning About Yourself (discovering your values), I wanted to continue with this theme of understanding more about ourselves.

I would argue that communication is the most important foundation for any relationship to prosper.

Today, I would like to provide you with the basics regarding the different styles of communication.  If you are not sure what style you are most comfortable with, hopefully you will gain a better understanding after this read.  If you are a seasoned veteran, and are already familiar with these communication styles, than kudos to you! But, a little refresher course wouldn’t hurt, right? 🙂

What do you know about the different styles of communication? Maybe you’re not familiar with the book terms for how you interact with others.  That’s perfectly okay too.

I for one have always heard the different terms being tossed around, but have never actually researched them on my own until grad school.

Here’s some info on the different styles of communication:

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Aggressive: is a style in which individuals express their feelings and opinions and advocate for their needs in a way that violates the rights of others.

– try to dominate others
– use humiliation to control others
– criticize, blame, or attack others
– be very impulsive

Impact: – become alienated from others, generate fear and hatred in others, and always blame others instead of owning their issues, and thus are unable to mature.

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Passive:is a style in which individuals have developed a pattern of avoiding expressing their opinions or feelings, and getting their own needs met.

– often feel anxious because life seems out of their control
– often feel depressed because they feel stuck and hopeless
– often feel resentful (but are unaware of it) because their needs are not being met
– often feel confused because they ignore their own feelings
– are unable to mature because real issues are never addressed

Impact: Increased anxiety, feelings of hopelessness and helplessness

Passive-Aggressive: is a style in which individuals appear passive on the surface but are really acting out anger in a subtle, indirect, or behind-the-scenes way.

– mutter to themselves rather than confront the person or issue
– have difficulty acknowledging their anger
– use facial expressions that don’t match how they feel – i.e., smiling when angry
– deny there is a problem

Impact: become alienated from those around them, remain stuck in a position of powerlessness, and discharge resentment while real issues are never addressed so they can’t mature.

Personally, I am admitting that I would become easily irritated when I felt that I was unable to express myself completely. Honestly, for the majority of my life I’ve felt that I’ve probably gravitated towards the passive aggressive style of communicating.  I kept hearing people say that when referring to me, and still I had no idea what they meant exactly. I assumed this was a funny way of reminding me to check my attitude :-/. Needless to say, I learned a lot about myself.

How-to-be-a-More-Assertive-Parent_Article

Assertiveis a style in which individuals clearly state their opinions and feelings, and firmly advocate for their rights and needs without violating the rights of others.

– state needs and wants clearly, appropriately, and respectfully
– listen well without interrupting
– feel in control of self
– not allow others to abuse or manipulate them
– stand up for their rights

Impact: – feel connected to others, feel in control of their lives, are able to mature because they address issues and problems as they arise, create a respectful environment for others to grow and mature

Once I understood more about my own patterns, I was able to make a decision on where I wanted to be, to get to a place where I could communicate freely. I wanted to be understood, respected, someone whom others would consider when making important decisions, and confident. My next course of action was to do the research on reaching these communication milestones. I wanted to be assertive, and this is the style that I have been practicing for the most part more recently. I still have those days when I fall back into my old pattern (sorry guys). Good thing my family and friends are extremely forgiving :-).

What style of communicating best fits you? Has this changed over time?

XOXO

~FreeBryd

Resources:

If you’re curious about what style best suits you, take this 20 question quiz:HERE.

Full descriptions on communication styles: HERE


Image #1:http://blog.prepscholar.com/

Image #2:http://www.bacweb.org/

Image#3:http://effectivecommunicationadvice.com/

Image #4:http://www.empoweringparents.com/

Learning About Yourself//Heart 2 Heart

I’ll start this post with a few questions for you…

What do you think you’re known for? What do you believe in? What are your goals? What are determined to do with your time?

Values: “A person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgement of what is important in life” (Dictionary.com).

These beliefs are what drives our happiness.  I stumbled across a blog by Kate the other day, @The Importance Of Values. Unfortunately I did not save the link to her blog properly :-(. She describes her experiences with being unable to find true happiness with significant others, due to not yet discovering what she wanted in those relationships.

I want each of us to begin focusing on understanding our values. Maybe you’re unsure of what exactly this may be for you? Or maybe you’re still exploring what’s important to you.

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Whatever the case, I strongly encourage each of you to begin re-evaluating your lives to find the answers to the questions listed above.

How can we expect others to “just get it”‘ if we have yet to figure this out ourselves.  Life would make so much more sense if we began to understand our core values.

Maybe this is the reason for your previous relationships did not make it over that 6 month mark, or the reason why you’ve been feeling so unsettled/unfulfilled in your job/career.  I agree with Kate when she discussed how these feelings can impact your relationships with others…I’ve been there. But not only were my relationships with others suffering, I was also stuck in a cycle of negativity. It was difficult for me to find any positives.  I was living my day, but not enjoying much of it at all.

Denying your values for the sake of others can also put a wedge in your overall happiness and feelings of fulfillment.  How long will you be able to keep up appearances simply to keep the peace? What about what matters to you?

I wasn’t able to begin feeling better about myself, until I decided to truly understand what I wanted for myself long-term. What I was willing to do to see my goals become my reality.

I wanted to be able to speak with confidence when someone asked me a question about what I wanted out of life, and where I was headed. If you haven’t experienced this before, the feeling of not having a purpose, and having very little to look forward to can be absolutely draining. I was miserable without actually knowing the cause, and how to “fix” this.

I started to journal my thoughts more, and reach out to others whom I normally looked to for guidance.  I asked them similar questions like those listed in the beginning of this post.  Their answers were not a specific guide on what I needed to do, but provided me with encouragement on how I could begin answering these questions on my own.

Disclaimer: I know that everyone has their own values and beliefs. So, I’ll spare the specifics of my own to keep the peace on this blog :-). But, if you’ve been following my blog, you have a pretty clear idea on what my values are (self-care, family, strengthening our relationships, and education…just to name a few).

What are some questions you still need to figure out the answers to about understanding your values? Who helps to inspire you to discover these answers? 

Much Love,

FreeBryd

Image#1: http://www.thecrewcoach.com/

Image #2: http://www.twitterpowersystem.com/

Connect With Me//Over a Cup of Coffee

Hey Blog Family,

We had such a great turnout for the last Mix and Mingle…so, it’s time for another one!  Let’s take a moment to say hi to someone new, and possibly gain a long-term friend!

Let’s pretend that we are sharing a cup of coffee (or some other fancy drink if coffee isn’t your thing).  Over this cup of coffee, we will share details about our week with one another.  This idea was inspired by the Writing 101 course that I’ve signed up for via WordPress.

As always, thanks for joining! Now, let’s grab a cup of coffee!

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If we were drinking coffee right now, I’d let you know that I’ve recently wrote an Open Letter To My Father.  I’ve never been so transparent before with him.  I was able to share most of my thoughts and feelings that I’ve been keeping safe since childhood.  My father and I have grown much closer over the last couple of years, so I felt that we were in a better place to be able to communicate more freely and open.  In response to the letter, he let me know that I wasn’t actually a headache for him…lol. He shared some personal feelings of his own from these earlier experiences. Nothing but smiles from me! I am even trying to plan for a family reunion…something we’ve never done before with my father’s side of the family.

If we were drinking coffee right now, I’d let you know that in about a week, I will be traveling to Mexico for 7 days!! I am excited for the well deserved vacation, the food, the activities, and dancing!  I’ve been trying my best to eat healthier, and become more physically active.  I do worry that my healthy lifestyle will suffer…just a smidge, because I’ll be in such an exotic place.  Anyone who knows me, understands how serious I am about my food.  I’ll plan  to do some outside activities to keep my heart rate up…in exchange for eating any and everything, and relaxing on most days.

If we were drinking coffee right now, I’d let you know that while I’m away in Mexico, I will miss blogging as often as I’d like.  I’ve honestly grown to look forward to connecting with all of you.  So many opportunities to meet such wonderful people, and become inspired by your posts! But, I’ll be happy to update all of you on how awesome this trip has been when I return!

In recognition of today’s Mix and Mingle, I ask that you do the following:

  1. When you share an update, begin with “If I were drinking coffee right now”.
  2. Leave a link to your blog so others can check out your space.
  3. Want to share this post with others? Be sure to pingback and reblog this post.

*Share as little or as much as you’d like*

Happy Sharing!

~FreeBryd

Image #1:https://www.contentwatch.com/

Image#2: http://www.firehousejavacuisine.com/