court certified batterer intervention and anger management ​programs for Santa Barbara County 


TEXT 805-242-2502 



Poor communication often creates tension and bad feelings within relationships. It’s always useful to be

aware of your communication styles to avoid making these types of errors. 

NOTE: Anger is a secondary emotion always. Identifying the emotion underneath your anger is the

key to healthy communication and in a sense being in control for your strong emotions.

The way you communicate has a big impact on how you get on with people and get the 
things you want.

Good communication skills can help you avoid conflict and solve problems – they’re also important for

making friends and having healthy relationships.

There are styles of unhealthy communicating:

  • Aggressive
  • Passive Aggressive
  • Passive
  • Assertive

Communication is expressed in a forceful and hostile 
manner, and usually involves  ‘you-statements’ , blaming the other person and accusing them of being wrong. In addition, the person’s tone of voice and facial expressions look and sound unfriendly. The thought behind agressive communication is "I am right, you are wrong, my way or the highway". The assumption behind aggressive communication is that you are hurt or fearful of something and you choose to show aggression to cover it up. Key words: hurt and fear.

Passive aggression is a way of expressing negative feelings, such as anger or annoyance, indirectly instead of directly. Passive-aggressive behaviors are often difficult to identify and can sabotage relationships at home and at work. While common, passive-aggressive behavior can be hard to pin down, experts agree on the most common signs, which include refusing to discuss concerns openly and directly, avoiding responsibility, and being deliberately inefficient. The passive aggressive person often leaves a job undone or “almost” complete. They frequently run late and are masters at subtly sabotaging others when they disagree with a course of action. They often resort to the silent treatment or the backhanded compliment to get their point across.
Key words: Avoidance, resentment


Communication involves putting your needs last. You don’t express your thoughts or feelings, or ask for what you want. When you use passive communication it feels like others are walking all over you because you don’t assert your own needs which gives you an opportunity to complain and think you are victimized. So you bottle things up when you feel resentful. The assumption behind passive communication is ‘my needs don’t matter’  and I resent you for that). Key words: Fear, Shame, Guilt, Avoidance, Resentment


Communication involves clearly expressing what you think, how you feel and what you need, without demanding that you must have things your way. Being assertive understands that your request may not be met but you feel confident enough to ask again and do not take the refusal personal.  The basic underlying assumption is ‘I matter and WE both matter – let’s try to work this out’. Assertive communication increases your likelihood of getting what you need, avoiding angry conflict and maintaining good relationships. When you are assertive you can express your own thoughts, feelings and needs make reasonable requests of other people, you stand up for your own rights say ‘no’ to requests from others at times, without feeling guilty.


If nothing works and the tension is escalating, you must TAKE A TIME-OUT