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How do you handle stressful conditions? What happens when you are in an argument? How about when things are not going your way? Does you communication style change?

For a lot of people, when they are feeling under pressure their style of communication changes to reflect various patterns in life. For some, this can be useful and for others this can be very damaging. Over the next few weeks I am going to be investigating these different communication styles, strategies for improvement and simply ways to detect your own stress coping style.

Our stress coping style is an NLP Meta Program ā€“ and when we know more about how we communicate during stressful situations, we can do better.

Generally speaking, when under pressure a person will take a passive, assertive, aggressive or passive-aggressive attitude. Ultimately, Assertive people are better able to state an opinion, claim a right, and establish authority. So, this is what we will be working toward.

Until we begin to dissect and understand each style ā€“ what do you tend to do most under pressure?

Passive: Fail to assert for themselves, avoid conflict and confrontation, speak softly, apologise, allow others to infringe on their rights.

Assertive: Uses ā€œIā€ statements, will listen without interruption, will stand up for their rights, feel competent and in control.

Aggressive: May try to dominate others, may interrupt others and not listen, can be very impulsive, has a low frustration tolerance, criticizes, blames or attacks others.

Passive-Aggressive: Will mutter under their breath instead of confronting someone, uses sarcasm, uses subtle sabotage, has difficulty acknowledging their anger.

Our intention over the next few weeks will be to learn more and find the best way for you to communicate in stressful situations.