What your communication style says about you
Our communication style affects how others perceive us and how well we get on in relationships. Being aware of your own and others communication style can reduce conflict and improve relationships. People tend to think of communication solely as what we say but we also communicate through non-verbal gestures, how we dress and our use of physical space.
Knowing what style you are
There are many online tests you can take to discover what type of communication style you have and although they may come under different headings, the four different types referred to are:
Sympathetic – like to focus on people and relationships, are good listeners and generally concerned with everyone’s needs. Sympathetics typically don’t like conflict. They may be seen as soft hearted and overly helpful. They can be seen as procrastinators when they are distracted.
Direct – are often brief in conversation and focused on many things at once. They tend to see the big picture and are more focused on the end result than on the steps it takes to get there. They can appear self confident, opinionated and intimidating.
Systematic – will focus on facts and figures and not on the bigger picture. They are generally not comfortable with conflict. They may be perceived as unemotional or nonchalant.
Expressive – tend to be high energy, speak quickly and focus on the big picture. They generally find conflict or differences in opinion invigorating. They can seem overly cheerful, vain or unpredictable.
Very few people are all one style or another, or one style all of the time. Who we are with and where we are – out with friends, family, at work or on a date – will affect how comfortable we are and therefore how we communicate.
Once you’re aware of your predominant style you can adapt it to be more complementary to the person you are with and the situation you are in. This doesn’t mean you have to be a chameleon, just that you become aware of how you communicate so you can get along more harmoniously with others. When you’re dating this is particularly useful.
How we communicate with matches
What style we are will affect our interactions with people every step of the way in the dating process.
– How long it takes to respond to online communication
– The length and depth of their response on text or email
– Their comfortableness with talking on the phone
– Their ability to make definite plans for a date
– Their preference for where a date is held
– Their conversational ability when they meet you
– How much they disclose about themselves
– How they conduct themselves during the course of the relationship
– Their future planning abilities
– How comfortable they are in social situations
– How they express their emotions
The next time you’re struggling to communicate with a date ask yourself if it’s because your communication styles are very different. Knowing that this is the cause can help you be more understanding towards your date – just because they have a different way of communicating doesn’t necessarily mean that you are incompatible.
What you are communicating about yourself is more than just what you say. How you dress, your body language or even how you walk into a room or sit in a chair says a lot about you. When you are with a date they are picking up on these non-verbal signs and forming an impression of you, whether they realise it or not.
How do you want to be perceived?
To gain mastery of anything you need to give it some time and attention. The art of effective communication is no different. How do you want to be perceived by others? Often people who are shy and anxious adopt a loud and aggressive communication style to cover up their insecurities. Are you covering up who you really are? Being authentic when you’re dating is vital if you want to be successful. Are you communicating who you really are?
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