Differences in communication styles



Our communication style affects how others perceive us and how we manage our relationships. Many people are unaware of the differences in communication styles and find themselves frustrated by people who have a different style to them.

Communication is much more than the words we say, it’s also our body language, energy, tone, style and confidence. Knowing what style you are can help maximise your chances of success when dating.

The different types

There are tests you can take to discover your communication style. Although they have different headings they can be broadly split into four categories.

Sympathetic – generally good listeners, focus on other people and their needs, invest a lot into their relationships. Don’t like conflict and will do all they can to try and see everyone’s point of view and keep the peace.

Negative aspect – can be dominated by others and are often seen as too soft, allowing people to take advantage of them.

Direct  – not usually big conversationalists. They get straight to the point and their conversations are usually quite brief, usually because they’re focusing on other things at the same time. They’re able to see the big picture and can often identify a clear plan of action in situations. Focused on the end goal and able to see the route there.

Negative aspect – they may come across as abrupt, arrogant, opinionated and intimidating because they say what they think and feel, without dressing it up to make it mare palatable.

Systematic – will often get lost in the planning and may lose sight of what it is they are trying to do. Will focus more on facts and figures rather than the bigger picture and it can be hard to prise them away from work. Not generally comfortable with conflict, they will avoid it rather than try to resolve it.

Negative aspect – This logical approach can sometimes be perceived as unemotional or nonchalant.

Expressive – will have boundless energy, speak quickly and can often see a bigger picture that other people are unaware of. They find conflict and differences of opinion invigorating.

Negative aspectThey can come across as being vain, overly confident and unpredictable.

Your type

You might identify with more than one of the descriptions above because it’s possible to switch from one type to another depending on who you are with. You’ll have a predominant style that reflects who you are when you feel comfortable, relaxed and most natural. Taking an online test can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and also establish which communication styles will be most compatible with you.

The impact of communication when dating

Dating is essentially a series of communications between two people. Every single step of the way each person will be evaluating whether they want to go any further with the match, depending on the success of the communication, e.g. how long it takes to reply to an email, text or to return a call, how intimate and revealing written communication is, evidence that a match has taken on board information you have given them.

How do you want others to see you?

How we communicate isn’t set in stone. You can learn new styles and strategies if the way you currently communicate isn’t getting you the results you want in your relationships. The most important thing is to be authentic, especially when it comes to dating.

Is the way you communicate a reflection of who you really are or do you find yourself covering up fears and insecurities with a louder or more confident style than you really feel? Nerves play a big part when you begin communicating with a new match. Bear that in mind if you find a date’s style difficult to begin with.


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