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Five Communication Styles For Family Counselling

If you are ready to go through family counselling, something that is long overdue, you will want to choose a counsellor that understands how to implement the latest techniques. Those that understand their profession are well aware of different communication styles that families can have which can be confusing.

Some people may speak in a certain way, and even use body language, which is going to confuse or even irritate other family members. As a result of that, it is possible that a family counsellor will be able to help each family member identify how another person speaks in order to resolve certain problems. Here is a quick overview of five communication styles for family counselling that will make it possible for family members that are constantly upset with each other to resolve differences that they may have.

Overview Of Different Communication Styles

There are five different communication styles that people will use which are vastly different from one another. You have probably detected these with different people that you have spoken to, but you may not have been able to put a name to each one. These include assertive, aggressive, submissive, manipulative, and passive aggressive communication styles.

Each of these is extremely different, many of which are not compatible with the other styles that all. When you have a problem with a friend, family member, or even someone that you just meet, it is likely that your style of communication is different from theirs. It is because of this the many family members will have problems with each other without actually realizing what the problem really is.

The Assertive Communication Style

This is a style of communication that is typically used by people that have high self-esteem. This is, effectively, the healthiest form of communication. When you are an assertive person, you exude confidence, communicating with people without having to result to manipulation or any type of games. You will know your limits, never pushing beyond them, yet you will still have the ability to communicate with most people that you speak to.

Some of the behavioral characteristics of those that use this style will include achieving your own goals without affecting others. You are going to defend your own rights without imposing upon others. You are also going to use emotion with the speech patterns that are part of this style of communication. You are willing to accept compliments, and there are certain nonverbal characteristics such as having an open posture, and you will use good eye contact. You are always going to be polite, and people will definitely know where you stand when you are speaking to them if you use an assertive style of communication.

The Aggressive Communication Style

This style of communication is one that conveys that you want to win, no matter the cost. It is a style that expresses that you are better than others, and you will do whatever it takes to win even at the expense of those around you. This is typically perceived as being belligerent, demanding, and almost intimidating. You are typically talking with a loud voice with a posture that conveys that you are better and bigger than others. This is a very difficult communication style to deal with, but there are others that are equally as hard to deal with.

The Submissive Communication Style

This is the exact opposite of the aggressive communication style. When people speak, they are typically apologetic, and will often refuse compliments even if they are well deserved. People tend to convey that they feel victimized, and will actually blame others for problems in their life, even if it was definitely their fault. They tend to twist or fidget, make no eye contact, and they speak with a very soft voice. This is also a difficult type of communication style to deal with because of how it makes people feel that are listening to them.

The Manipulative Communication Style

This communication style is very similar to aggressive, but is in many ways far worse. It’s all about controlling others, and demanding that your needs be met, plus you will want others to feel obliged to feel bad about themselves. You may be a very good actor, sometimes conveying your words with artificial tears, with the intent of always getting your way. They have the ability to make people feel guilty, even if the other person should not feel this way.

The Passive Aggressive Communication Style

There are some people that believe that this form of communication is one of the worst to deal with. Part of the reason is you never know what the other person is doing. On the surface, they will appear to be passive and concerned about those they are talking to. Underneath, they are actually out to get as many people as they can, specifically those that they believe deserve it.

They will use their words to bring down others, spreading gossip, and are often regarded as to face. When dealing with a person that uses this communication style, you may find yourself exhausted by the end of the interaction. If you have family members that use any of the styles, and you’re not sure what to do, this is where working with a professional counsellor can be so helpful. Let’s look at how these communication styles for family counselling can be used when discussing communication styles for family counsellling, and how they are able to help people resolve their differences.

How These Meetings Will Be Helpful

Assuming that you are bringing other family members with you that you are having problems with, the counsellor will likely have each of you identify the communication styles for family counselling that you use the most. Many people will not even realize that they are using one particular style more than others, and that is one of the reasons that proper communication can never occur.

Once a person is able to identify how they are speaking with people on a regular basis, especially the family member that they are having problems with, this can open the door to some form of communication. What a savvy counsellor will do is first identify what communication style each person is using, and then do a role reversal where they actually get to see the other person speaking to them in that way.

This is one of the best ways for resolving issues and why communication styles for family counsellling like this should be used. When you are able to see what you are doing to another person, it makes it so much easier to identify what is wrong and subsequently resolve your issues.

Examples Of How This Would Work

Let’s say that one person had a passive aggressive personality style, whereas the other person was simply aggressive. These two personality types will not be able to get along with each other very easily, and there are several reasons why. A person that is listening to a person with a passive aggressive personality will often feel confused. They may feel angry one moment, hurtful and next, and then suddenly resentful.

This is because a person that uses this particular style can be sarcastic one moment, and then complaining the next. On the other hand, a person that is talking with an aggressive style will often make other people feel exasperated, frustrated, and they might even feel guilty after talking to this individual. They may even feel that the other person is taking advantage of them, or even ignoring what they are saying, which makes them not want to speak with this person at all.

In both of these cases, the person that they are talking to is going to feel as if the other individual is out to get them in some way. When either of these personality types gets to see for themselves what they are doing when another person takes on their personality style, it’s often a rude awakening.

They will get to see the facial expressions that they make, listen to the words that they see, and even look at the posture that they are assuming. Once people see this, this is the first step toward understanding how to fix different aspects of their personality which is necessary to resolve differences they have with other family members.

How To Proceed Forward And Resolve Their Differences

In order to resolve these differences that they may have, once they have seen how the other person perceives them, they can start to make subtle changes. First and foremost, they need to realize that they are not actually listening to the other person but merely talking out them. This is a key component of most of the negative personality types with the exception of those that have an assertive style.

Those that are assertive are often the most empathetic, and empathy really is the key to realizing how another person is feeling when you are talking to them. When you start to listen to what the other individual is saying, and ignore any differences that you may have with them, you may start to develop a different opinion of these people. Even if you have had problems with these individuals for years, if you can get past their personality faults, and also get past any prior incidents that you have had in the past, this is where an actual conversation can begin.

Can Family Counselling Help Everyone?

It should be noted that not everyone will be able to benefit from these counselling sessions. By having people enact these different communication styles for family counsellling, there is always the possibility that it’s not going to work at all. Part of the reason has to do with the ego when another person feels that they still need to be dominant.

Others will not be able to let go of previous wrongs that they perceive the other person should apologize for, and therefore there can be no closure or a conversation. It is, however, a step in the right direction if people are willing to meet with the counsellor that can help out. It’s worth a try if you seriously want to finally talk with family members that you are having problems with because of how successful these family counsellors can be.

If your goal this year is to finally start speaking with certain family members that you cannot get along with, family counselling is really the key. By having this third party that is knowledgeable of personality types, and also communication styles, they will be able to help you navigate to a point where a conversation can begin.

At the very least, people should give this a try because you never know if problems can be resolved until you are able to sit down together. Contact a family counsellor in your area to use these five different communication styles for family counselling that may help one or more of your family members start speaking once again.

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