Communication: Response Styles And Their Effects


How a person organizes his interpersonal connections can be determined by the way they communicate. According to Urea (2013), communication styles are made up of individual traits that are visible in the communication act. This includes particular methods of message reception and decrypting, individual traits for message analysis and processing, and particular methods of answer and feedback expression. In addition to defining and differentiating between assertive, passive, and aggressive communication styles, this essay looks at how each affects people and relationships. The use of a specific communication style has a significant impact on both people and their relationships. While being assertive is viewed as a successful communication style that fosters respect and wholesome relationships, aggressive behavior typically has the opposite impact. Reduced self-esteem and a relative absence of happiness in marriages have been connected to submissive communication patterns.

Communication Styles

The collection of speech traits used by a person while communicating is known as their communication style. Style refers to particular methods of understanding, unique means of perceiving a message, and specific means of responding to and providing feedback (Pânişoară et al., 2015). The three styles that are often distinguished are aggressive, passive, and assertive. An individual’s communication style is a good predictor of how they organize their social network. Additionally, communication style is a sign of how information is interpreted and turned into proactive action in social evaluations.


A tendency to not express one’s ideas or sentiments, defend one’s rights, and recognize and attend to one’s needs is known as passive communication. Consequently, sedentary people don’t express their displeasure or disappointment at things directly (Bocar, 2017). Alternatively, they permit irritations and complaints to grow, frequently unaware of the accumulation. However, after they have exceeded their high bar for inappropriate behavior, they are subject to anger, which is often excessive compared to the incident that set them off. Nevertheless, after the outburst, they could experience uncertainty, remorse, or humiliation and return to an inactive state.


Aggressive communication styles can be characterized by multiple intertwined concepts. Spoken aggressiveness, which targets the other person’s self-concept in addition to their ideas, and rudeness or cursing, which concentrates on the use of explicit words or even swearing in conversation, are some central concepts (Chu et al., 2021). Talking in a loud and demanding manner, keeping direct eye contact, and overpowering or influencing people by accusing, frightening, condemning, pressuring, or assaulting them are all characteristics of aggressive communication. Therefore, a communication pattern that integrates strong messages with disrespect and an assault on an individual or group can be classified as an aggressive communication style (Yuan et al., 2016, as cited in Chu et al., 2021). As a result, verbal and/or physical abuse is frequently used by aggressive communicators.


In addition to being an indication of communication skills, assertiveness is more likely to be displayed by those who are secure in their personal beliefs and abilities to engage with others. Speaking up for and protecting oneself in favor of one’s own beliefs, interests, and/or objectives while remaining respectful of other people’s freedoms is a key component of being competent in assertive communication. This distinguishes it from aggression, which is declaring one’s wants without taking into account others. Demanding respect, expressing one’s emotions, and rejecting unjust proposals are just a few examples of how to be assertive. Social anxiety is linked to poor assertiveness, and nonassertive persons are typically regretful, hesitant, and insecure.

Effects on Individuals and Their Relationships

Being proficient in interpersonal interactions has several advantages in a variety of social sectors. Strong personal connections, meaningful educational observations, professional achievements, and proper leadership impacts such as information exchange and team devotion is examples of such sectors (Sims, 2016). People employ all three communication styles in a dialogue regularly, and when the circumstances demand, one particular style can be addressed. Every individual has a favored style of communication, and attempting to adopt it can assist determine if one is effectively conveying a message or is utilizing a style poorly. Therefore, implementing a certain communication style can have a wide range of varied consequences and impacts on both individuals and the evolution of interpersonal relationships.


People who deal with aggressive communication styles may not feel psychologically safe, which may deter them from expressing their feelings or sharing difficult thoughts. As an outcome, attitude, social appeal, openness, attention, and ability to respond are all negatively viewed in aggressive people. It can be challenging to build a good relationship since those who are speaking with aggressive communicators are likely to feel the need to defend themselves or disengage from the conversation. Such behavior frequently incites others to strike back and act aggressively themselves. A challenge from the aggressive communicator could result in hostility from the other person. The aggressive communicator could become isolated, and other people may feel insulted or resentful as a result (Bocar, 2019). When engaging with an aggressive communicator, people experience hurt, humiliation, and even exploitation, which leads to feelings of anger and vindictiveness.

Others prefer to avoid interacting with aggressive communicators because they are often scared to disclose errors and issues for fear of being held responsible for them. Establishing respect in a relationship while behaving aggressively is challenging. However, certain studies indicate that aggressive communication can occasionally have a good impact on communication operations. According to research, when discussing important societal and political topics, respondents preferred an aggressive communicator over a courteous one in the context of scientific communication (Chu et al., 2021). Nevertheless, such instances are only observed in certain issues and spheres, while generally speaking aggressive communication is perceived negatively.


At home, at work, and in society, we frequently have to interact with individuals who do not comprehend what we are saying and do not communicate in the way that we would like. This lack of communication causes dissatisfaction, disappointment, and perhaps a sense of helplessness. The most appropriate and effective course of action in those circumstances is communication assertively. The best method for successfully resolving issues is assertiveness. To sustain relationships with people, direct engagement, transparency, and sincerity enable one to receive information without misinterpretation.

Assertiveness is a productive and polite communication style since it is built on respect for one another. Because one is prepared to defend their rights and speak out for their opinions, being assertive demonstrates that such people value themselves. Additionally, it shows that they respect others’ rights and are prepared to cooperate in settling disputes. Gaining self-confidence, a sense of fulfillment, earning respect, improving communication, and even work satisfaction are just a few of the consequences of an assertive style on an individual. As a result, assertiveness is typically seen as a better way to communicate.

Relationships with others are strengthened, balanced, and courteous when communication is used in this way. For instance, in a corporate setting, managers who are viewed as assertive fulfill personnel’s latent need to be acknowledged and appreciated for their opinions, boosting their self-confidence and assisting them in adjusting to their professional environment (Agarwal, 2019). According to a recent study, attentiveness and an assertive communication style have an impact on the happiness of both spouses in their marriage (Hally Weliangan., 2022). These findings show that to build a peaceful and healthy family, the couple’s interpersonal happiness has to be developed and pursued. An assertive interaction while forming relationships is a significant component that determines marital satisfaction.


People who are passive or nonassertive may express concerns, but they seldom take action to influence their contentious circumstances because of fear of losing in future conflicts. For instance, the course of action of a passive communicator could be observed in a situation when a person made an order online and did not receive the right item. A passive individual would want to avoid any confrontation by keeping an item rather than requesting a refund or returning it. As a result, that person is in a losing situation since they only suffer a loss and receive no benefits. The passive individual does not want to take the chance of starting a fight by complaining or expressing their opinion. Such people might blame themselves for making the incorrect order or website selection.

Although one might be accustomed to communicating in a subservient manner and think they are being kind and respectful of the other person’s desires, their seeming unobtrusiveness is leading to a breakdown in communication. A submissive communication style raises serious concerns about the impact on self-esteem. According to Bocar (2019), passive communicator gradually loses confidence because they are unsure of where they stand. People speaking with submissive communicators may become irritated since they’ve only been given the information they want to hear as opposed to the truth. Those who are speaking with a submissive person no longer desire to assist that communicator in improving their interaction because their assistance is oftentimes subtly rejected. The feeling of guilt of not knowing what the submissive communicator wants is also likely to happen. Due to their incapacity to establish personal boundaries, passive communicators may frequently find themselves being exploited or taken advantage of in relationships.


Being completely aware of the communication decisions others make certainly gives one a better grasp of how to communicate more effectively as well as the prerequisites and outcomes associated with each style. Having reviewed the three major types, the most beneficial style of communication in both corporate and personal settings is the assertive style, as it relies on a courteous and productive approach to communicating. From the other perspective, an aggressive communication style hinders the development of a relationship since it encourages antagonism, defensive mechanisms, and response hostility. However, it was discovered that aggressive styles may be effectively used in some specific contexts, such as political or social debates. As passivity elicits emotions of guilt, aggravation, and exploitation, it is intimately linked to a person’s declining self-confidence and unsuccessful attempts to forge personal connections.


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