FA 091 Communication / NVC ability Mismatches

Introduction topic

  • Why Are More American Teenagers Than Ever Suffering From Severe Anxiety?


    • Benefits of exposure therapy for anxiety

    • Talks about how well-meaning avoidance strategies can be counterproductive and ultimately harmful

    • Loved ones experience difficulty resolving between legitimate anxiety and episodes in which an adolescent is using an anxiety disorder as a shield during manipulation


Identify Your Communication Style

  • Episode 16 - Communication Styles

  • Direct versus Indirect

    • Direct communicators convey desires in the forms of “want” or “need”

        • I want to move closer to you

        • I need to get a new job

      • Direct communicators tend to leave little for nuance, which can allow for low levels of misunderstanding

        • Tend to be fairly linear

        • “We live pretty far away, so I want to move closer to you.”

      • Can sometimes come off as aggressive or rude, especially to indirect communicators

        • They can also come off as detached in some cases, where they can communicate about problems in a way that seemingly strips away the context of empathy

    • Indirect communicators convey desires in the form of vague statements

        • You live pretty far away from me

        • It would be nice to have a nicer job

      • Tend to be somewhat more story driven

        • “I had a friend who etc…”

      • Can come off as overly passive and confusing, especially to direct communicators

        • They can also come off as too attached in some cases, where problems are layered in emotion, and additional arguments can break out when discussing the actual issue

  • Competitive versus Affiliative

    • Affiliative communication styles tend to focus on collaborative discussions to resolve problems

      • Tend to be more egalitarian in nature

      • Tend to see open arguments or direct challenges as aggressive/hostile or personal

      • Input should be received from all parties and a mutual decision should be made

    • Competitive communication styles tend to focus on people who are more dominant and seek to resolve issues with minimal “interference”

      • Tend to be far more hierarchal

      • Tend to see collaboration as impeding the process and discussions about the problem(s) to be a waste of energy

      • Can be tend towards being abusive, especially in egalitarian relationships

  • Explanatory versus Venting

    • Explanatory communication styles tend to be focused on discussing the overall issue and trying to strip away the failures that happened in order to find ways to resolve it

      • “You lied to me. Why did you do that?”

      • To people who gravitate more to venting it can be viewed as rehashing or as an extended blame session, especially if they are the focus of the conversation

    • Venting communication styles tend to want to merely talk about a problem in a way to purge it from their system rather than focus on it as they do not worry about resolving it

      • “You lied to me. I can’t believe you would do that!”

      • To people who gravitate more to explanatory it can be viewed as anxiety inducing, as their instinct is to try to resolve issues rather than remain somewhat detached from it, especially if they are the focus of the conversation

  • Non-Violent versus Violent Communication Styles

    • Episode Two - Nonviolent Communication Strategies

    • Non-Violent Communicators tend to take ownership of their feelings and actions when it comes to conflict resolution

      • “I” statements

      • Saying difficult truths, even when they are about themselves

      • Try to find ways to resolve the conflict without throwing either party under the bus

      • Apologize when at fault and accept apologies (within reason) when offered

    • Violent Communicators tend to refuse to accept fault or blame and, instead, will lie, scream, or turn the argument to another topic to avoid discussing the underlying issue

      • “You” statements

      • Avoids saying difficult things that cast themselves in a bad light

      • Will create new, resolvable arguments they can win in order to save face and also make their partner feel guilty

      • Refuse to apologize or, if made to, will become incredibly resentful or upset

What if my partner doesn’t buy into the non-violent communication method?

  • Your partner thinks you sound like a therapist when you use “I statement”

    • “Don’t use that headshrink shit on me” etc

    • “Let’s just use it till we both understand each other’s needs and wants, okay?”

  • Your partner is either unable to or refuses to empathize, even when you practice non-violent communication

    • Practice emergency self-empathy

    • Realize you don’t need your partner to validate your internal emotions and perspective

    • Communicate your perspective as directly and non-violently as you can after emotions have cooled

    • Use other parts of your support network to obtain empathy when able

How to talk about communication mismatches

  • If both parties have an honest look at themselves, it becomes easy to find where there are areas of communication that do not overlap

  • Use “I” statements and, if possible, find areas you can improve in so as not to cast blame entirely on one party

    • “Sometimes I feel like we miss the mark when it comes to talking about our open relationship, so I’m going to be more open about my thoughts before it becomes an issue. Do you think this is something both of us can commit to?”

  • Communication styles can be brought on by culture or upbringing, so it is important to highlight positive areas if you are having a discussion so as not to discourage your partner(s) from improvement

    • Find ways to compliment without seeming condescending or belittling-- remember everyone’s shit stinks and we all make communication mistakes


  • Question: Should I end things with my mate, since we have no way to see each other

    • Hello Viro and Metriko, I would like some advice. I am a younger fur (only 15) and my bf (14) and I haven't been able to have a proper conversation since June. In late June his parents found some of our *conversations* on his phone and revoked his social media privileges. It's getting hard at this point. While we both l8ve in the same general area, we go to different schools and can't talk. Adding to this, my parents (my mother especially) are extremely homophobic and took my phone for two months after they learned I was dating another boy. What do I do in this situation? Do we break up or find some way around all of these hardships? I really need help and can't turn to anyone else.


  • Next week’s topic: Porn and Self-pleasure in a Relationship

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Metriko Oni

Metriko Oni is a former government environmental disaster mitigations expert with a focus on outreach, education, and policy writing. He now works with computers. He has been active in the fandom since 2013 and has been an advocate for transparent lines of communication. His interests include philosophy, media, futurism, and speculative fiction.