Low Stress Communication

Think of your own communication style as being either stress producing or stress minimizing yourself and those around you.  Have you ever noticed how people respond to you?  If people who you communicate with usually experience their transactions with you as positive, affirming, productive for them personally, they will usually come back for more.  If they don't like the results, they will tend to interact with you as little as possible and when they do have to communicate with you, it may be in a very defensive way.  High stress communication also tend to decrease productivity or open to changes.  

Below is a list of "Stress Producing and Reducing" communications.  Examine the list and make a personal inventory of behaviors you may want to change. 

Stress Producing Behaviors

  • monopolizing conversations
  • interrupting
  • showing obvious disinterest
  • keeping a sour facial expression withholding customary social cues such as greetings, nods
  • throwing verbal barbs
  • using non-verbal put downs
  • insulting or verbally abusing others
  • speaking dogmatically and not respecting opinions
  • complaining or whining excessively
  • criticizing or fault finding
  • demanding one's way
  • ridiculing
  • patronizing
  • making others feel guilty
  • soliciting approval excessively
  • losing one's temper frequently
  • playing games and manipulating
  • embarrassing others
  • telling lies; evading honest questions
  • overusing "should" language
  • making aggressive demands of others
  • disagreeing routinely
  • breaking confidences and promises
  • insincere flattering
  • joking at other's expense
  • bragging


Stress Reducing Behaviors 

  • giving others a chance to express their views
  • listening attentively
  • sharing one's self with others; smiling and greeting others
  • giving positive nonverbal messages of acceptance and respect
  • sincere complimenting
  • expressing respect for values and options of others
  • giving suggestions constructively
  • compromising
  • helping others succeed
  • affirming other's feelings
  • delaying automatic reactions
  • honest communication
  • taking responsibility for one's own actions
  • asking straight forward questions
  • joking in good humor
  • confronting others constructively on difficult issues
  • staying in the conversational topic until others have been heard
  • expressing genuine interest in others