Passive Communication

Have you encountered situations where you have let others decide and choose for you? Have you been indirect and finding it difficult to get things done your way? If you say ‘yes’ as an answer for all the above questions, then it is most likely that you are suffering from passive communication problems.

Wondering what is passive communication? Communication is primarily differentiated into four major types, namely, passive communication, aggressive communication, passive – aggressive communication and assertive communication. Read on to understand the characteristic features and problems associated with this type of communication.

What is Passive Communication?

Passive communication is a form of communication where the sender is unable to convey his thoughts or views out of fear of confrontation by others. They normally consider themselves not eligible to provide opinions or views. It is a very ineffective and maladaptive type of communication. In short, it is a style where an individual expresses his opinions and fails to identify and meet his own needs. Some times a bit of aggression is also mixed in the behaviour leading to passive-aggressive types of behaviour.

How Passive Communication is developed?

Passive communication is normally a result of low self esteem. Self esteem is defined as an individual’s view of his own worth. Individuals who exhibit passive communication consider themselves not worth being expressed. They normally think that they are not worth being taken care of. They never react or let out their emotions. This further builds up emotional conflicts and thus their self-esteem falls further subsequently.

Passive communication is often a result of suppressed emotions from a young age where submissiveness is appreciated. This appreciated submissiveness slowly turns to low self esteem which subsequently becomes a behavioural habit.

The habit of acceptance and trying to please others when deep rooted converts into a form of passive communication where the individual hides his opinions to please others involved. It is also by large dedicated to adults who acknowledge and contribute to the weak behaviour exhibited by many children in childhood.

Why is passive communication not a healthy form of communication?

Passive communication often makes the individual keep opinions to self and prevents him from letting out emotions. Such persons refrain from responding thereby allowing grievances to mount and build up within. This built-up pressure is dangerous and bursts in an explosive manner when it crosses the threshold levels. The explosion might result due to a triggering incident after which they might return back to their original form. Though they reconcile back to their passive form, it is mostly accompanied with shame and guilt that is associated with the explosion.

Characteristic features of a passive communication

Individual who exhibit passive communication tend to speak in a soft and apologetic manner. They fail to vouch or assert for themselves and allow others to interfere on their rights and opinions. They also do not express their feelings, views and needs on their own. Such individuals also establish very poor eye contact and improper body language and postures.

People who show by passive communication feel very anxious as they assume their life to be out of their control. They are most of the times depressed and sick due to the fact that their opinions are never voiced. They tend to get confused as they do not know how to choose their own opinions and tend to give way for other’s views. They are always at war with their mind as their concerns are never addressed. These people also tend to become emotionally dishonest and are angry at themselves most of the times. The feeling of ignorance and manipulation becomes rooted in their conscience.

How does the society view such people?

People who show passive communication signs are a pain to work with. Other team members will start to overpower them and can even exhibit superior feelings over them. Feelings of frustration and guilt will tend to grow in the team members’ mind due to increased suppression of views. People tend to take you for granted and will achieve their goals at your cost. In a work place, such people are also looked upon as someone who dodges responsibility and are not proactive in work.

Editorial Team at Geekinterview is a team of HR and Career Advice members led by Chandra Vennapoosa.

Editorial Team – who has written posts on Online Learning.


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