Are you able to express yourself in a healthy, non-defensive, and non-insistent way? Consider your communication style and notice when you slip into dysfunctional patterns: Turn your relationship towards win-win!

No one is perfect, and there will likely be times when you or your partner succumb to using passive or aggressive communication. Notice when this happens, make amends and vow to make this the exception rather than the norm, and your relationship will grow!


communication styles

What is your communication style? Generally, there are four common styles:

  1. Passive
  2. Aggressive
  3. Passive aggressive
  4. Assertive

Following on from last weeks post, it is important to recognise your primary communication style and that any combination of passive and aggressive communication styles can be detrimental to your relationship over time, as they result in lower levels of intimacy.

4. Assertive

Assertive communicators are able to express themselves in a healthy, non-defensive, and non-insistent way. They can ask for what they want while remaining positive and respectful. Exercising assertive communication encourages the other person to respond assertively as well, creating a positive cycle in relationships.

If only one person is assertive and the other is passive or aggressive, the relationship may still suffer.

The chart below shows that there is really only one “win-win” combination:


Consider your communication style and notice when you slip into dysfunctional patterns and turn your relationship towards win-win!

Source: The Couple Checkup Book ©2008

Tune in for more tips next week at

The Couple Checkup generates deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations restore insight and understanding about one another. The Couple Checkup can help to revive a relationship and increase intimacy.

The Couple Checkup is an online couple assessment based on the PREPARE/ENRICH couple inventories. The Checkup assessment and Checkup report are designed to go directly to couples at any stage of their relationship (dating, engaged or married). The online system allows for dynamic customization of the assessment to each couple based on how the couple answers background questions. The goal is for the Couple Checkup to reach a more diverse group of couples, to empower couples to deal with issues on their own and to emphasise prevention over remediation.

For more information on the use and analysis of the Couple Checkup or to simply use the tool, please contact: or call today (02) 9520 4049 #couplecheckup #relationship


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