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Do You Know Your Communication Style?

Effective communication is an integral part of your addiction recovery.  Proper communication is the only way to ensure that needs are clear and can be met.  Communication skills could be one of the most important skills you will learn in your recovery.  By learning how to effectively communicate your thoughts, emotions, and needs you give yourself the ability to create and grow relationships.  Many times when a person is in the midst of an addiction they tend to isolate themselves.  This isolation leads to feelings of loneliness and the need to escape into a drug induced state.  Professor Peter Cohen of New Zealand has argued that rather than referring to it as addiction, we could accurately call it bonding.  As human beings, we have a natural need for bonding.  People were not made to be isolated.  When people find themselves in a state of isolation they look for something that will give them some semblance of bonding.  This may be pornography, alcohol, cocaine, or heroin.  By learning effective communication skills we can avoid these times of isolation and increase the number of healthy human relationships we possess.  There are 3 different types of verbal communication that exist:  Aggressive, Non-Assertive, and Assertive.  


With aggressive communication, the focus is on changing the mind or opinion of the person we are speaking with.  Communication is often tactless or blunt and is characterized by “you” statements.


Non-assertive communication is often referred to as people pleasing.  This often leads to depression and anxiety as tensions and disdain are allowed to build until a blow up is reached.  Non-assertive communication is generally controlled by fear and inhibition.


Assertive communication is the baby bear’s porridge when it comes to types of communication.  It is neither aggressive nor overly passive, rather it is focused on showing respect while also expressing oneself.  An assertive communication style uses “I” statements with the primary goal of expressing yourself and not trying to change others.  

By transitioning our communications with others to a more assertive style we allow for an open dialect of thoughts, ideas, and emotions.  This allows you to bond more openly with the people in your life.  By strengthening the bonds and relationships you have with others the desire for isolation will slowly fade away.  Group therapy is a great place to learn and practice these skills.


Detox is the first step in the journey to recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol. The Gardens Wellness Center is redefining the way we approach detox and treat those who are detoxing. Our comfortable environment, encouraging program, and engaging amenities set us apart from other detox centers. Call us today for information:  (844) 325-9168