What Is Your Communication Style?

Most people have a particular communication style. Examples are:

  • Passive: “Yes, I guess that’s what Sam needs. I don’t really know.”
  • Assertive: “I have a list of ideas that might help you help my brother.”
  • Aggressive: “I want you to fix this problem and do it now!”

Use the quiz below to find out your communication style.

QuestionAlmost Always or AlwaysUsuallySometimesSeldomNever or Rarely
I have difficulty saying "no" when someone asks me to do something I feel is unreasonable.
When it is appropriate, I express my anger or disappointment to others.
I freely share information or opinions in discussions, even if I don't know people very well.
I have a hard time refusing requests.
In a restaurant, I would let my waiter know if I was unsatisfied with the food.
When it is justified, I have no problem expressing my anger or annoyance to those in authority.
I easily compliment and praise others.
I would ask a close friend to do an important favor, even though it would cause them some inconvenience.
If a close relative makes what I consider to be an unreasonable request, I have difficulty saying no.
If someone in authority interrupts me in the middle of an important conversation, I request that the person wait until I have finished.
I find it hard to speak up in a discussion or debate.
If a friend seems to have forgotten they borrowed $5.00 from me, it's difficult for me to remind them.

Your Results:

Please answer the questions to see your results.

Your score indicates you may lean towards a Passive communications style. Passive communicators care about people’s feelings, try to stay calm during conflicts, and have no problem listening. You may have a quiet voice and hate to “make waves” that will “rock the boat.”

Taken to an extreme, a passive communicator can be perceived as timid, vague, inconsistent, or embarrassed. They may have trouble looking directly at another person and will usually accept statements without argument. Passives rarely offer solutions.

If this sounds like you, think about how to be more assertive. Practice the skills demonstrated in this program. This will help you be a better advocate for your loved one with a brain injury.

Your score indicates you may lean towards an Assertive communication style. Assertive communicators make eye contact with others, pay attention, and ask questions to clarify. They focus is on needs, not complaints. They demonstrate that they understand others and pay attention to reactions.

Someone who is Assertive tries to remain calm, and says what they think and feel, using “I” statements. Assertive communicators offer reasonable, well-thought-out requests that reflect clear goals and are within the abilities of everyone involved. They carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of collaborative solutions and bring up any issue that might be a problem.

If you use an assertive style of communication, odds are you are already a good advocate. This program will be a helpful review for you.

Your score indicates you may lean towards an Aggressive style of communication. Aggressive communicators have no problem confronting difficult issues. They are persistent and doggedly determined. They “never surrender their ship.”

Taken to an extreme, Aggressive communicators can be perceived as loud and disrespectful to others. Their behavior comes across as rude; their requests may seem demanding and unreasonable. Aggressive people have a hard time listening and often interrupt others with accusations or blame. Conversations with aggressive people feel like an attack.