5 communication styles (That help+ PDF)

The present blogspot will be based on the question “what are 5 communication styles?”. It will enlist the 5 different communication styles, describe each communication style with an example and elaborate each style’s unique characteristics.

What are the 5 communication styles?

The 5 different communication styles are :

  • Passive style of communication
  • Aggressive style of communication
  • Assertive style of communication
  • Passive Aggressive style of communication
  • Manipulative style of communication

Passive style of communication

Individuals with passive style of communication usually have a tendency for not speaking up for their due and just rights. They tend to avoid expressing their views and emotions related to anything. They usually do not show their concern for their unmet needs and rights. Often, they even fail to identify their needs.

Under passive communication style, individuals generally limit their covert responses to unpleasant and hurtful events. They tend to build up their anger inside them and do not channelize their negative energy. As a result of internalized aggression, there comes a point when the inner emotional build up reaches its peak.

As the threshold for humiliating and hurtful experiences reaches its peak, an individual with a passive style of communication is prone to emotional outbursts and negative reactions that are of high intensity as compared to the triggering negative incident. However, the emotional outbursts result in feelings of shame and guilt in the individual and thus the individual returns to the passive style.

The passive communicators mainly faily to be assertive. They have difficulty communicating verbally and non-verbally. They speak in a low tone with a very soft voice. They tend to allow others to intentionally or unintentionally overpower them and their rights. It is usually difficult for people with passive communication style to express, manage and regulate their emotions. They find it stressful to express their concern regarding any situation. They usually have difficulty maintaining proper eye contact and their body posture is not firm.

The psychological impact of passive communication style on the individual’s well-being is that such individuals often feel anxious and distressed. They exhibit depression features because they feel that things are out of their control and thus they are usually hopeless about life. Such individuals are often confused as they are unable to identify and cater to their physical and emotional needs. They often deal with their life issues in an immature way as they fail to prioritize and give attention to major life issues.

People with passive communication develop feelings of learned helplessness. They believe they are unable to take care of themselves and their rights. They also have a strong faith that other people don’t pay attention to their rights.

Aggressive style of communication

Aggressive style of communication involves need fulfilment in a way that tends to violate the rights of others and sabotage interpersonal relationships. People under aggressive style of communication are physically or verbally abusive. They are usually reactive and impulsive. They continue to overpower others without considering the impact of their negative behavior on themselves, the other people and the situation.

People with an aggressive style of communication are usually very dominating. They have a tendency to control others and manipulate others to fulfill their own underlying needs. They usually humiliate others to take control of the scenario. They have a low frustration tolerance. Their impatient nature makes them speak in an unbearably loud voice and act in a way that makes others feel threatened. While communicating with others, they tend to interrupt others a lot and thus lack appropriate interpersonal skills. They are habitual of blaming others  and generating negative feelings of anxiety and fear among people around them.

The people with aggressive communication style have a core underlying belief that they are “superior to others”, “they have a right to violate others”, “my needs and demands should be immediately gratified” and “i can boss around and intimidate others as and when needed”.

Assertive style of communication

Individuals with assertive style of communication have an ability to clearly state their needs and opinions without violating the rights of other people and hurting their feelings. They tend to firmly advocate their needs without manipulating the people in their surroundings. 

People with assertive style of communication have an increased sense of self and have a higher self esteem. They value their emotions, feelings, time, physical, psychological and social needs. They are strong advocates of their rights and are also respectful of the people around them.

While communicating with others around them, assertive communicators use more of “I” statements. They clearly state their needs and demands leaving no ambiguities. They express their feelings, both pleasant and unpleasant, with humiliating other people. They actively listen to other people and respond accordingly.  They have a clear and firm voice that doesn’t threaten other people around them and is easy to comprehend. 

The nonverbal communication skills of people with assertive style of communication include adequate eye contact, a firm gait and a relaxed body posture. They are more in a receptive state while communicating with others. They don’t allow other people to overpower or manipulate them and confidently deal with the situation as per the need of the time.

As a result of assertive communication, such individuals feel themselves as connected to others and have adequate social relations. They are more in control of their life and have good decision making power. They are able to address the needs of themselves and the people around them. They facilitate people around them to enjoy a peaceful and respectful environment and live in harmony. They act responsibly towards life and don’t blame others for unpleasant events in their lives.

Passive Aggressive style of communication

The passive aggressive style of communication is based on acting indirectly on the events of resentment. Such individuals appear passive but actually they act out behind the situation or when away from the source of resentment. They tend to undermine the object of resentment that might be based on ideal resentment or real resentment.

Under the passive aggressive style, individuals often appear cooperative during a situation but they tend to self talk negatively by whispering about the discomfort to themselves. They tend to mindout ways to get revenge and sabotage others to make the situation even.

Such individuals with passive aggressive communication style tend to remain aloof and isolated from others.  They feel alienated in the presence of others and make others feel alienated. They are unable to address the underlying issue and resolve the area of concern. They often feel powerless and remain frustrated and irritable for most of their life.

Individuals with passive-aggressive communication style usually lack healthy coping mechanisms. They have inadequate interpersonal relations and distorted social life. Their self image is distorted. 

Manipulative style of communication

Individuals under the manipulative communication style have the capability to control and manipulate others to take the maximum benefit of the situation for themselves. They influence others to fulfill their underlying means for the self. They act in a cunning manner and are witty to scheme and plan every scenario for their maximum advantage. 

The individuals under the manipulative style of communication play being the victim and hide their underlying meanings and desires that they want to get fulfilled through unjust means. They usually ask directly for whatever they need from others without any idea about the impact of their desires on others.  They play victim roll so that other people feel sorry for them often and grant their wishes easily.

Their body language communicates that they are helpless and powerless and people shout pity on them and sympathize with them. Whereas they actually plan out every scenario well to take control of the situation and the people through deceitful actions and words. 

The people with manipulative style of communication fake appearances and emotions so that people help them out of guilt and obligation. They adopt unhealthy coping styles to deal with daily life issues. The manipulative style of communication hinders their socializing abilities. They have dysfunctional interpersonal skills and are prone to developing personality disorder features.


The present blog was based on the 5 different styles of communication. It enlisted and elaborated on the various aspects of aggressive, passive, passive-aggressive, assertive and manipulative communication styles. It elaborated on the ways that our daily life and relationships get affected by the communication style we use to deal with people around us.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) : The 5 communication Styles 

What are the five communication styles?

The 5 effective communication styles are :

What is the most effective communication style?

The most effective communication style is assertive style of communication. It tends to respect one’s own needs and rights while protecting the respect and rights of others.

What are the main characteristics of 5 communication styles?

The main characteristics of the 5 communication styles are :
Passive : a subtle style of dealing with others with inability to raise voice for one’s own rights and a constant submission to external factors.
Aggressive : reactive and provoking personality with no regard for people around them
Passive-aggressive : an internal build of aggressive tendencies with an inability to voice one’s own concerns.
Assertive: respect for the rights of one’s existence while protecting the people around
Manipulative : deceit others emotionally and behaviorally to gain maximum benefit







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