Do you have trouble connecting or getting yourself heard? These guides and resources will teach you the skills you need to communicate more clearly and effectively with your romantic partners, family, friends, boss, and coworkers.

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Communication FAQs

What is assertive communication?
Assertive communication involves being clear, direct, and honest. When you’re assertive, you express your thoughts and communicate your needs in a way that’s respectful of others. This allows you to set effective boundaries and stand up for yourself. However, assertiveness is not the same as aggression. Aggressive communication often involves forcing your opinions and beliefs on others or dominating a conversation. Like any type of effective communication, assertive communication is focused more on understanding the other person rather than winning an argument.
What is passive-aggressive behavior?
Passive-aggressive behavior is when you indirectly express your negative feelings to others instead of being open and honest. If you’re angry at a coworker, for example, you might intentionally miss a project deadline or ignore their requests throughout the day. When you’re frustrated with a friend, you might use sarcastic comments such as, “Wow, you’re so smart,” to criticize their ideas. Behaving passive-aggressively can impact both your own and other people’s mental health. Passive-aggressive behavior can erode your social support and make it difficult to communicate effectively with others.
What is interpersonal conflict?
Interpersonal conflict occurs when two or more people have views or goals that are incompatible or in opposition to each other. You and a partner might bicker over how much money to budget for an upcoming trip, for example. Or you may disagree with your siblings over how much time you’ll each spend caring for an aging parent. While interpersonal conflict and disagreements are an inevitable part of any relationship, by learning conflict resolution skills you can resolve differences in a healthy way and build stronger, more rewarding relationships.
What is a pathological liar?
A pathological liar is someone who tells lies compulsively, often for no apparent reason. Maybe a friend tells you a detailed story about how they witnessed a car crash into a bank last night. They gain nothing from telling this elaborate lie, and it’s easy to debunk, but they make the claim regardless. Pathological lying without motivation in this way may be the result of a personality disorder. Whatever the cause, though, it can have a negative impact on the liar’s social life, creating relationship difficulties at home, work, or school, and even lead to legal problems.
What is active listening?
Active listening is a communication technique that goes beyond simply hearing the words another person speaks in order to better understand the real meaning of what’s being communicated. Active listening may involve nodding, smiling, and using other nonverbal cues to encourage the speaker to keep talking or expound their message. You might ask them questions or restate their message in your own words to gain clarity and make the speaker feel heard. Active listening can also involve some internal steps, such as setting aside distracting thoughts and being completely present when communicating with someone. All of these actions can be especially useful when you’re trying to avoid or defuse conflict.
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