Family Togetherness – What’s Not to Love?

In this article we have discussed on how people communicate with different communication styles. Communication skills matter a lot. This article will help you know about different communicators and how best to communicate with these people.

If you are like me, it is entirely possible that while you love everyone in your family, you may not always “love” spending time with all the people in your family. Holidays can bring all those feelings to the forefront and are the best time for family togetherness. However, one thing I have found to help is to look at the different ways people communicate. This can help you anticipate their reactions which, in turn, can make you feel more prepared to handle bumps in the road. This is not to say you cannot or will not be surprised - but at least you have a rough idea of both what to expect and how best to communicate in response to these different communication styles. 

 Passive Communicators 

 To begin, we have the passive communicators. These people are chill and are great communicators. They are the ones who do not really have strong feelings about having Christmas dinner at 1 pm versus at 3 pm. They will likely not be hurt if the rolls were bought in Costco or if Grandma baked them. They tend to avoid conflict and will be unlikely to engage in passionate conversation. They are not looking for conflict, but as a result, conflict management is not always their strong point. 

 Passive Aggressive Communicators

 Then, we have the famous cousin to the passive communicators: the passive aggressive communicators. These communicators have mastered the art of sarcasm and varying degrees of subtility. These are the people who say, “Oh, well store bought apple pie is fine, but obviously, my mother always made her own.” These communicators have a knack for pushing buttons while feigning innocence. 

 You might think an aggressive communicator is the one who would be immediately picked from the crowd, but the reality is a little different: it can depend on the recipient. For example, an individual might have a very low, level voice “suggesting” who opens presents first; however, if the result is someone feeling threatened that if the “suggested” person does not go first, dire consequences will result, that is still an aggressive communicator. In other words, other factors play into this type of communication. An aggressive communicator will not be interested in listening to others or exercise much empathy; however, again, that can be selectively directed - not everyone is a target of this aggressive communication. This is by design - it is much easier to convince the few on the receiving end they are crazy for thinking this language is threatening when the threat only applies to a few. 

 Assertive Communicator

 An assertive communicator is one that is direct, firm, positive, and persistent. In other words, their message matches their words: if they prefer homemade pumpkin, they don’t make snide remarks about ones from the store. That said, they are not attaching someone’s value to said pie - Christmas is not ruined based on the sourcing of pies. They do not shy away from confrontation, but they do not go searching for it, either. For this reason, they are also not looking for power imbalances to exploit - but they are also unwilling to accept being exploited. 

 One more thing to consider is that it is entirely possible you need to work on your communication style to promote a more fun and festive holiday environment. - Change often begins when we admit our own tendencies and humbly work on our own style of communication first. 

We hope you liked our article on “What’s Not to Love about Family Togetherness”. If you need some support during this holiday season, we’d love to help. Contact us to see one of our Castle Rock Therapists who are seeing clients in person in our Castle Rock office or telehealth throughout the whole state of Colorado.