Aggressive Communication

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Aggressive Communication is a pattern of behavior in which individuals surpasses the feelings and rights of others in the cost of fulfilling their needs and advocating their opinions. They are verbally and physically abusive. Aggressive communication seeds from low self-esteem (often induced from childhood experiences of physical or emotional abuse), unhealed emotional wounds, unattended bodily and emotional needs and feelings of powerlessness. The emotional instability, boiling within the personality, often leads to extreme emotionally and physically disruptive behavioural patterns for oneself and others.

It always involves manipulation. We may attempt to make people do what we want by inducing guilt (hurt) or by using intimidation and control tactics (anger). Covert or overt, we simply want our needs met – and right now! The aggressiveness bears no reasonable solution to any problem but shut off the room for further negotiations. It leads to indifference, insensitivity, self-centredness and undesirability.

Aggressive communicators often:

  • Try to dominate others by humiliation, authority or blaming games.
  • Try to prove them always right even though when absolutely wrong.
  • Are extreme inflexible and rigid in the situations where their petty desires cannot be met easily.
  • Resist authority by exhibiting self-destructive behavioral patterns or extreme aggression to others.
  • Aim to win at all costs.
  • Not consider the forthcoming risks while manipulating the situations to meet their desired ends.
  • Act in threatening situations in abusive, demanding or over-bearing voice.
  • Have no remorse feelings for wrong doings.
  • Are demanding, intolerant and difficult to deal with reasonability.
  • Have piercing eye contact and are extremely self-corrective.
  • Protect one’s rights at the expense of others.
  • Have lots of energy; are loud and belittling; never defer to others or at least do not admit to; are manipulative and controlling.
  • Use verbal or physical abuse to make others to listen to or agree with.
  • Extreme critical and sarcastic to the opinions and feelings of others.
  • Examples of Aggressive Communication:
    “I can dominate and intimidate you.”
  • “I can violate your rights.” “I don’t know why you can’t see that this is the right way to do it.”
  • “It’s going to be my way or not at all.”
  • “You’re just stupid if you think that will work.”
  • “That kind of logic will sink the company.”
  • “Who cares what you feel.”
  • “I’m superior and right and you’re inferior and wrong.”
  • “I’m loud, bossy and pushy.”
  • “I’ll get my way no matter what.”
  • “You’re not worth anything.”
  • “It’s all your fault.”
  • “I react instantly.”
  • “I’m entitled.”
  • “You owe me.”
  • “I own you.”

The impact of a pattern of aggressive communication is that these individuals:

  • Become distant and alienated from others.
  • Generate hatred and fear in others.
  • Blame others or situations for all of their failures.
  • Do not admit their inadequacies.
  • Make others their foes.
  • Complicate their matters more.
  • In many situations, aggressive tendencies are not desirable as they make the matters even more complicated but sometimes it needs to behave aggressively:In emergency, where quick decision-making is required.
  • When compromise may overweighs benefits.
  • When inevitable reasons support one’s rightness and there is not any time to negotiate.
  • When there is question of saving other’s life from further deterioration.

Elements of the Aggressive Style:

Mottos and Beliefs:

  • “Everyone should be like me.”
  • “I am never wrong.”
  • “I’ve got rights, but you don’t.”

Communication Style:

  • Close minded
  • Poor listener
  • Has difficulty seeing the other person’s point of view
  • Interrupts
  • Monopolizing


  • Achieves goals, often at others’ expense
  • Domineering, bullying
  • Patronizing
  • Condescending, sarcastic


  • Puts others down
  • Doesn’t ever think they are wrong
  • Bossy
  • Moves into people’s space, overpowers
  • Jumps on others, pushes people around
  • Know-it-all attitude
  • Doesn’t show appreciation

Nonverbal Cues:

  • Points, shakes finger
  • Frowns
  • Squints eyes critically
  • Glares
  • Stares
  • Rigid posture
  • Critical, loud, yelling tone of voice
  • Fast, clipped speech

Verbal Cues:

  • “You must (should, ought better).”
  • “Don’t ask why. Just do it.”
  • Verbal abuse

Confrontation and Problem Solving:

  • Must win arguments, threatens, attacks
  • Operates from win/lose position

Feelings Felt:

  • Anger
  • Hostility
  • Frustration
  • Impatience


  • Provokes counter-aggression, alienation from others, ill health
  • Wastes time and energy over-supervising others
  • Pays high price in human relationships
  • Fosters resistance, defiance, sabotaging, striking back, forming alliances, lying, covering up
  • Forces compliance with resentment


There are certain ways of dealing effectively with aggressive communication:

  • Dealing with demanding situations with open-mindedness.
  • Sensitivity and respect to the feelings and thoughts of others.
  • Non-threatening dealings to aggressive behavioural patterns.
  • Belittling the aggression prone situations.
  • Avoiding undesirable arguments with aggressive individuals.

To summarize, the extreme of any behavioural pattern inhibits the individual to adapt with the given situation and leads to personal and social dysfunction. It is important to follow the basic norms of the society so that one can give maximum output by utilizing his/her inner potentials.

Passive, Passive-Aggressive, Assertive 

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