Healthy Communication at Home or Work:  What do I say?… How do I say it?

Are you having more misunderstandings or disagreements with family or co-workers during this time of sheltering-in-home or because of changes to your workplace?


You are not alone.

BigFoot is the only one who doesn’t have to deal with it.

There is a battle between fear and love, even in the healthiest relationships.
Unhealthy communication can cause a lot of shame and blame during a crisis like this.

For many of us, we might have learned from childhood what we don’t want in our adult relationships and family life. Unfortunately, we still inherit some unhealthy ways, and these can even affect our workplace too.

I’m taking an online seminar in healthy boundaries and communication. There are some key ideas that could help any situation where there’s a need for healthy communication.

There are 3 main ways of communicating: Passive, Assertive, Aggressive.

But first, it’s myth-buster time….
Myth: The main goal in communication is agreeing with each other.

Truth: Our #1 goal in communication is to understand the other person, regardless if we agree or disagree with someone. 

When I listen well and ask questions, I can see what is going on from their viewpoint…

  • If that isn’t the goal, then I’m starting off on the wrong foot and there will eventually be a break-down in communication.
  • Listening well and seeking understanding sends the message, “You matter to me” and decreases anxiety in the moment.
  • I must seek to communicate what’s going on inside of me. My job is to not assume what’s going on inside of someone else. My job is to help someone understand me, and ask that person to help me better understand them.

Have you heard someone say, … “I’m not a doormat for you to walk all over me” or “That was passive-aggressive…” ?

I’ve wondered why some people are “aggressive” communicators while others are “passive”. Here’s a basic breakdown of what the styles mean:

Communication Styles:

  • A healthy communicator is an assertive communicator. They require people’s respect, and other people to manage themselves (self-controlled).
  • The passive communicator sends the message “Your needs matter; mine don’t.” They might say things like, “Don’t worry about me. Fine. Whatever you want. “
  • The aggressive communicator sends the message, “I matter; you don’t.” Fear and intimidation are used to communicate needs and wants.
  • A passive-agressive communicator sends the message, “You matter… no, not really.” They use sarcasm, innuendos, veiled threats, and manipulation to communicate their needs. “Sorry, not sorry” 🙂
  • Assertive communicators send the message:  “You matter and so do I.” They require conversations to involve two self-controlled people. They say things like, “I’d be glad to continue as long as this conversation is respectful”, or “I will work on that  as soon as you’re done with ______.”

Nobody is perfect at this, but Assertive communication is what we’re practicing and aiming for because it respects the power of both sides and invites growth and trust.

For more:
3 Key ways to turn a disagreement into a healthy conversation
Effective vs Ineffective Confrontation for those you lead @ home/workplace

If you’d like to connect with me on this topic or anything else, I’m here for you!