46 STASHED IDEAS
Passive communicators go along with the other person’s ideas, narratives and suggestions. They avoid conflicts and confrontations. They appear anxious, afraid of disapproval and are often having poor eye contact or posture.
In a relationship, these people bottle up their emotions and do what their partner plans or does. It is a ‘doom scenario’ if both partners are passive.
An aggressive communicator is demanding, defensive, dominating and even hostile. They are poor listeners, always having something to say. They maintain direct eye contact and often use a harsh tone.
An aggressive communicator can be a problem in a relationship, as they don’t know when to stop yelling, refusing to back down or not considering their partner's feelings.
One needs to figure out their own style and change it if needed. One can take a few seconds before responding and reflect upon what they have listened to with intent.
The first step is to validate the person’s feelings, making them feel heard and listened to. The listening part is even more crucial than the solution or the remedy, which won’t be impactful if provided before hearing out the person fully.
Assertive communicators are self-confident, clear and open. They can share their opinion with calmness and are generally considerate of the differences of outlook.
In relationships, assertive people have healthy discussions, as they are also good listeners. Due to this ability to listen well, they have certain security with sharing their own opinions, thoughts and feelings while speaking.
Also known as the confuser, a passive-aggressive communicator is a bundle of contradictions. They can be easily frustrated, resentful, unable to say what they want to say, making good use of sarcasm, indirect communication, criticism and complaining. People interacting with them are often alienated.
In a relationship, these kinds of communicators are the ones harbouring subtle anger, not telling if something is wrong, preferring the silent treatment. A lot of this behaviour feels like emotional abuse to the partner.
Depending on the circumstance and the stance of the partner, one should know which type of communication is to be used, and when it has to be changed. Talking should be paired with listening, and your partner should have a safe place to express their feelings fully.
Make sure your words and actions are on the same platform, with no contradiction between them. If you think you are ‘spent’ and it is too late, you can bring in a trained relationship specialist for help.
When help-rejecting complainers feel heard, they may eventually realise that they can change their position. But they may also continue to complain incessantly.
In that case, you can set a compassionate boundary where you validate their suffering and admit that you don't think listening to what's bothering them is helping. Then change the conversation. Whenever they complain, remind them of your limit and redirect the conversation.
Don't try to challenge their belief system. The best thing to do is to over-validate their position but without any trace of sarcasm. For example, "Your boss should be fired. It's terrible that there's absolutely nothing you can do to make things better."
Once they feel understood, there's not a lot more to say. They will also hear their own complaint from you and may turn the argument. "My boss is awful, but I don't know if I'll be there forever."
We all go through challenging periods in our lives and may find it helpful to talk with friends or family about our struggles.
But for a help-rejecting complainer, complaining is a way of life. They don't want help, only sympathy and validation for their perception of being mistreated and their inability to improve their situation. Because help-rejecting complainers don't want solutions, they tend to drain the energy from the people around them.
They often suffer from an underlying depression, and depression skews their thinking and make them feel helpless. They also feel lonely, unheard, and unseen in their pain.
They want to connect, but because they are help-rejecting complainers, they push people away, creating a vicious cycle.
Hard anniversaries, like the birthday of someone we've lost, are helped by routines and rituals. They create a grounding structure with a reassuring and stabilising effect.
Our problems stem from responding to difficult people in a way that we learned to do as children. We may react as squashed; we may sulk or feel it is our fault; we may build up resentment.
We probably cannot change who we are attracted to. The answer is also not the end the relationship, but rather to learn to respond in a more mature and constructive manner around our partner's less mature sides.
We look for people to love that recreate the feelings of love we knew from childhood. But the love we absorbed in childhood was intermingled with painful aspects: a feeling of not measuring up; a love for a fragile parent.
This predisposes us to pick partners with whom we feel familiar with and who are not necessarily kind to us. Instead of aiming for changing our partners or finding someone else, it may be wiser to adjust how we respond and behave around occasionally difficult people.
If the following things sound familiar and common, we may be involved in a gaslighting relationship:
Gaslighters more often than not turn out to be males, with the ‘victim’ being female.
To gaslight means to undermine a person’s reality by denying the environment, facts, emotions and feelings. A person who is gaslighted is often manipulated into turning against their own perceptions and fundamentals.
Gaslighting has now gained mainstream visibility as a form of manipulation and can be detrimental for one’s emotional, psychological and physical well-being.
The antidote to gaslighting is to be emotionally aware. One has to become self-reliant and stop being gullible.