Passive vs. Aggressive Communication Styles

Recovery is a process of regaining skills that were lost to the priority of addiction and alcoholism. Often it is said that the age when abusive drinking and using drugs began was the age when psychological development halted. Surely, many who were drinking and using drugs every day were little concerned with things like communication, emotional development, or life skills building.

Passive vs. Aggressive Communication Styles

Addiction and alcoholism are selfish diseases. They take over the brain to create one solitary focus. Then, in the recovery process, focus can be distributed elsewhere. Through the journey of recovery we learn how to participate in life again, from the way we talk to the way we eat. Communication is a challenge to many people. Industries thrive on teaching people how to communicate with one another, on personal levels, social levels, and even corporate levels. These four communication styles are the basics of human to human verbal (and nonverbal) interactions.



Passivity in communication refers to allowance and avoidance. Passivity in action is allowing others to do both good and bad things to you without ever mentioning your thoughts, feelings, or opinions about it. Similarly, in communication, passivity is avoiding communicating your personal thoughts and feelings about anything. Passive communicators see themselves as “just being quiet”, however, they are letting their own needs go unmet. They might even deny themselves their own rights because they do not speak up about them. Passive communication is not a continual status-quo. After so many incidents of absorbed pain and hurt, a passive person will eventually ‘explode’. Passive communicators are prone to outbursts and breakdowns when the pressure of all their unspoken emotion gets too great.



Opposite to passive communication, aggressive communication holds nothing back. While on the one hand, aggressive communicators are very good at expressing their thoughts, opinions, and emotions, they do so at the expense of others’ thoughts, opinions, and emotions. In fact, the way an aggressive communicator express themselves might violate the sacred personal space of another person. Aggressive communication is usually done through manipulative and hurtful methods such as humiliation, control, criticism, blame, interrupting, and voice volume. Often, people who communicate aggressively are physically, emotionally, and verbally abusive.


Recovering your communication style and learning to express yourself in safe, respectful ways is part of the treatment process.

Aurora Recovery Center is committed to helping you transform your life from addiction to recovery. Our beautiful lakefront facility located in Manitoba welcomes men and women seeking life changing treatment for their addiction to drugs and alcohol. For more information call 1-844-515-STOP.

Pin It on Pinterest