Home » Active Duty and Veteran Supports » INTERPERSONAL STYLES

Here are four major Interpersonal Styles.  In examining them it is clear for health reasons why some are more preferred.  However, all may be necessary at some point.  For example, if you are in a bank and it gets robbed.  It may benefit you to be quiet and not draw attention to yourself.  However, if this is your preferred style, you may have great difficulty having your needs met.  Let me explain each style in more detail.


The Aggressive Interpersonal Style looks to have his/her own needs met even at the expense of others.  Behavior associated with this style may include verbally attacking someone else, being controlling, provoking, and maybe even physically intimidating or violent. This style can leave the person using it and those connected with this person angry and resentful.  Over the long run using this style most often could be damaging emotionally and physically.


The Assertive Interpersonal Style seeks what is best for self and others.  Often this person will try to find a win- win so as to benefit both parties in a matter.  Behaviors associated with this style involve knowing what others feel and want as well as themselves.  It also involves expressing feelings and needs directly and honestly without violating the rights of others.  At all times people using this style are accepting responsibility for their feelings and actions.


Passive Aggressive

The Passive Aggressive Interpersonal Style seeks what is best for self while appearing to care for the needs of another. Often the person feels angry as a result of an issue but rather express their feelings directly he/she retaliates in an indirect manner.  This type of behavior can cause confusion.  The person on the receiving end feels hurt or attacked but can’t be exactly sure how or why.  The person behaving passive aggressively can act like he/she has done nothing at all.  Others are left hurt or confused but this style is not likely to take ownership for what he or she has done.



The Passive Interpersonal Style seeks what is best for others at his or her own expense.  Behaviors associated with this style may involve withdrawing in an attempt to avoid confrontation.  He/she may be fearful or just quiet.  Passive people let others think for them, make decisions for them, and tell them what to do.  This style often insures that others needs are met but rarely have their own needs met.


Now that we have looked at each of the styles, which style would you say is the predominant style for you?  Are you pleased with that or would you like to change something?






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