Understanding your communication style

Communication is key! Unravel your style and learn to express yourself authentically. Strengthen your relationships with expert insights.

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Everybody has a unique way of expressing their personality through communication. Whether through humor, a certain tone, or the way we phrase something, our social interactions are shaped by how we communicate or express ourselves. 1

Being mindful of how we interact with others is essential for building strong bonds and maintaining relationships. In this article, let’s explore how to know what kind of communicator you are and why it’s necessary to recognize your communication style.

Want more fulfilling relationships in your life? Discover how communication & attachment styles shape your relationship dynamics.

Why understanding your communication style matters

Why understanding your communication style matters

Healthy relationships are built on good communication. How you communicate with others in your day-to-day life can determine the quality of your platonic and romantic relationships. 2

Because your social relationships influence your happiness, life satisfaction, and overall well-being, recognize what kind of communicator you are to better understand how to connect with the people in your life. 3

Knowing your communication style isn’t just helpful for building new relationships and improving the quality of existing ones. Here are the benefits of understanding your communication style:

Types of communicators

While we all have our own communication styles, there are four main types of communicators. Here are some characteristics to look out for when trying to understand if you fit into one of these categories.

  1. Passive: Passive communicators will avoid confrontation and stay away from difficult conversations. They are quiet and often don’t express their thoughts or feelings openly.
  2. Aggressive: Aggressive communicators usually take a no-nonsense approach to conversations, dominating the conversation and expressing themselves strongly without leaving room for discussion.
  3. Passive-aggressive: Passive-aggressive communicators will often be indirect and use sarcasm or other subtle forms of communication to express their feelings.
  4. Assertive: Assertive communicators will take a balanced approach to conversations, ensuring that all parties are heard and respected while expressing themselves confidently but without overpowering.

Effective communication is key! Explore the four styles in relationships and master the art of adapting for healthier connections.


10 signs to help you understand your communication style

10 signs to help you understand your communication style

Now that you know the four types of communicators, knowing what kind of communicator you are is critical to improving your communication skills. Here are ten signs that can help you determine your communication style:

1. Recognizing your preferred communication approach

Knowing how you prefer to communicate will give you an insight into your communication style. Do you prefer face-to-face conversations, phone calls, or virtual meetings?

Or are you more comfortable sending an email or text? Understanding your preferred communication approach can give you a clearer understanding of what type of communicator you are.

Knowing your preferred communication approach is vital in building a strong connection with an ISTP partner. Explore effective strategies for deeper intimacy.

2. How you handle conflict and disagreements

Every relationship will have disagreements. How do you handle it? Do you try to confront the situation head-on, or do you avoid confrontation and find a way to work around it instead? 4 5

Your approach to conflict and disagreements is a good indicator of your communication style. Do you avoid confrontation, trying to smooth things over, or express yourself strongly, not leaving room for discussion?

3. Reaction to receiving feedback and criticism

Receiving criticism is never easy. But it’s important to accept constructive criticism to improve yourself. [^6]

Do you take feedback and criticism well, or are you defensive when someone has something negative to say? This can be a good indicator of your communication style.

Learning to accept criticism is crucial when couples navigate different personalities. Explore effective ways to embrace differences and grow together.

4. Your level of assertiveness

Assertive communicators can confidently express their thoughts and feelings without being too overpowering or aggressive. Is it difficult for you to express your opinion, or do you feel comfortable speaking up?

Do you often voice your opinion and stand your ground regarding conversations? This is an indication of whether you are assertive or not.

5. Your approach to expressing needs and desires

We all have needs and desires, but your partner or friends may only sometimes understand your needs and be able to fulfill them. This is why expressing your needs and wants is vital in relationships.

How do you express them? Can you communicate your wants clearly, or do you struggle to speak up and articulate what you need?

6. Your ability to handle stress

Stress can hugely impact how we communicate with partners, friends, and family. Do you tend to be more reserved or lose your temper when stressed?

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, is it difficult to express yourself in a way that doesn’t come across as aggressive or passive-aggressive? Do you tend to shut down in stressful situations? [^7]

7. Your level of confidence

Confidence is key when it comes to communicating with others. Are you confident in your ability to get your point across? Do you tend to doubt yourself or hold back from conversations?

Pay attention to how comfortable and confident you are during conversations. This can be a good indication of whether or not you have the confidence required to communicate effectively.

Your level of confidence in communication styles affects intimacy. Explore how to nurture deeper connections and emotional bonds in relationships.

8. How flexible you are to change

Change is inevitable, and being flexible in communication can be extremely helpful. Are you open to trying out different methods of communication, or do you tend to stick with what’s familiar?

Do you find adapting when faced with a new situation or conversation partner difficult? This will give you an indication of how easily you take on new approaches to communication.

9. Your comfort level with expressing emotions

Being vulnerable and open when expressing your emotions can be difficult, but knowing how to do this will benefit your communication style. Do you find it easy or difficult to express feelings in conversations?

Pay attention when you’re talking about topics that make you feel uncomfortable. What kind of language do you use? Are you able to communicate what it is that you’re feeling, or do you struggle with expressing yourself openly and honestly?

10. How you make decisions in group settings

Group conversations can be complicated to manage, especially when different opinions are at play. Do you take the lead and try to steer the conversation toward a decision, or do you prefer to let others take the lead? [^8]

How you handle group conversations will tell you much about your communication style. Do you take charge and try to make decisions, or do you prefer to let other people lead the conversation?

Knowing your communication style is important for understanding yourself and others better and improving your ability to communicate effectively. Discover other communication in a relationship tips to help you maintain a strong connection with those you love.


  1. Terry, L., & Newham, R. (2020). Understanding and applying personality types in healthcare communication. Nursing standard (Royal College of Nursing (Great Britain) : 1987), 35(7), 27–34. doi.org ↩︎

  2. De Netto, P. M., Quek, K. F., & Golden, K. J. (2021). Communication, the Heart of a Relationship: Examining Capitalization, Accommodation, and Self-Construal on Relationship Satisfaction. Frontiers in psychology, 12, 767908. doi.org ↩︎

  3. Umberson, D., & Montez, J. K. (2010). Social relationships and health: a flashpoint for health policy. Journal of health and social behavior, 51 Suppl(Suppl), S54–S66. doi.org ↩︎

  4. Gurman, A. S. (2008). A framework for the comparative study of couple therapy. In Alan S Gurman (Ed.), Clinical handbook of couple therapy (4th ed., pp. 1-30). New York, NY: Guilford Press. ↩︎

  5. Byrne, M., Carr, A., & Clark, M. (2004). The efficacy of behavioral couples therapy and emotionally focused therapy for couple distress. Contemporary Family Therapy, 26(4), 361-387. ↩︎

Author picture of Amy Clark
Relationship Expert

Amy Clark

Amy Clark is a freelance writer who writes about relationships, marriage, and family. She has been happily married for over ten years and loves her husband and three kids. Before …

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