Passive Style Communication

Elements of the Passive Style

  1. Mottoes and Beliefs
    • “Don’t express your true feelings.”
    • “Don’t make waves.”
    • “Don’t disagree.”
    • “Others have more rights than I do.”
  2. Communication Style
    • Indirect
    • Always agrees
    • Doesn’t speak up
    • Hesitant
  3. Characteristics
    • Apologetic, self-conscious
    • Trusts others, but not self
    • Doesn’t express own wants and feelings
    • Allows others to make decisions for self
    • Doesn’t get what he or she wants
  4. Behaviors
    • Sighs a lot
    • Tries to sit on both sides of the fence to avoid conflict
    • Clams up when feeling treated unfairly
    • Asks permission unnecessarily
    • Complains instead of taking action
    • Lets others make choices
    • Has difficulty implementing plans
    • Self-effacing
  5. Nonverbal Cues
    • Fidgets
    • Nods head often; comes across as pleading
    • Lack of facial animation
    • Smiles and nods in agreement
    • Downcast eyes
    • Slumped posture
    • Low volume, meek
    • Up talk
    • Fast, when anxious; slow, hesitant, when doubtful
  6. Verbal Cues
    • “You should do it.”
    • “You have more experience than I do.”
    • “I can’t…”
    • “This is probably wrong, but…”
    • “I’ll try…”
    • Monotone, low energy
  7. Confrontation and Problem Solving
    • Avoids, ignores, leaves, postpones
    • Withdraws, is sullen and silent
    • Agrees externally, while disagreeing internally
    • Expends energy to avoid conflicts that are anxiety provoking
    • Spends too much time asking for advice, supervision
    • Agrees too often
  8. Feelings Felt
    • Powerlessness
    • Wonders why doesn’t receive credit for good work
    • Chalks lack of recognition to others’ inabilities
  9. Effects
    • Gives up being him or herself
    • Builds dependency relationships
    • Doesn’t know where he or she stands
    • Slowly loses self esteem
    • Promotes others’ causes
    • Is not well-liked