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Assess Your Communications Style

Take this test, review the answer key, and learn when to be more assertive or when to back off and be more flexible in relationships.

Think about closeness and your personal boundaries. Think about boundaries as emotional, perceptual, and physical distance between you and your loved ones. How much love can you enjoy without feeling either engulfed or too distant in relation to others?

1. I feel other people's feelings and have difficulty distinguishing my feelings from his/her feelings.
2. I feel responsible for my spouse/partner's negative emotions and take on responsibility for trying to make him/her feel better.
3. I get angry with others for feelings they express that are actually uncomfortable for me (angry about their sadness or disappointment).
4. I often agree to do a favor for someone when I really don't want to because I am hoping that my love and attention will earn their love and attention. When I don't get it I am resentful.
5. People often talk me into doing things that I really don't want to do. I don't recognize it when others cross over my limits.
6. I tell others what I think he/she may be thinking, feeling, or believing, rather than asking.
7. I can't take no for an answer. I pressure others until I get what I want.
8. I can't tell how emotionally close or far away another person wants me.
9. I move too close to a lover's personal space before he/she wants me there.
10. I like to check up on my spouse/partner. Check voicemail, email, or look at credit card receipts, read their journal without his/her knowing this.
11. I have to talk to him/her several times a day to feel secure with the relationship.
12. I borrow clothes or equipment from roommates or take work supplies for home use.
13. Asking for favors that you would not offer.
14. Taking advantage of your spouse or partner's vulnerabilities and weaknesses.
15. I have great difficulty allowing other's needs to come before mine.
16. Telling dirty jokes or talking about sex or other subjects in front of people who are uncomfortable with that kind of talk…and you don't notice their discomfort.
17. I get overly involved in other people's personal lives and often am worn out because of it.
18. I under-react to other people's feelings, especially people I love because I fear being close.
19. Closeness as a feeling is difficult to maintain.
20. I have great difficulty accepting that my spouse/partner does not think and feel as I do. I want him/her to see the world from my perspective most of the time.
21. I like to keep most of my issues to myself. Even when I love someone, I don't like him/her to know everything about me. It is too exposing to be known well. I like my space. I like to keep to myself.
22. I am controlling in relationships.
23. I let my spouse/partner control me. I often give in to his/her way of doing things and I really don't care one way or the other most of the time.
24. I have difficulty letting my spouse/partner know what is okay and not okay regarding sexual relations.
25. Often I am not sure if I am angry at my spouse/partner or if my anger is spilling over from past relationships. I have great difficulty distinguishing my present feelings from past feelings.
26. I take on too much of the blame for what goes wrong with relationships.
27. I have difficulty being responsible for my feelings without blaming how I feel on someone else.
28. It is hard to say, "NO! with out feeling guilty or badly about setting limits.
29. Letting others tell you what their perception is of you, and you agree, out of feeling intimidated. Their perception of you is often inaccurate.
30. Sharing too much about yourself before you really know if the person is a gossip.
31. Rarely wanting to share personal information even when I am close to them.
32. Feeling like you have to answer any or all questions that are asked of you.
33. I have difficulty deciding when I am responsible and when my spouse/partner is responsible, and for what and whose problem it is in a conflict.
34. Not knowing what your beliefs, values, or needs are so that you can share them.
35. I have difficulty accepting "No" for an answer or "I disagree with you" from my partner/spouse.
36. I will go to great lengths to be liked because I cannot tolerate another person not liking me.
37. I have great difficulty seeing other points of view.
38. I am right most of the time and everyone else is wrong.
39. When I am hurt, it is like no one else's feelings exist.
40. I don't need anyone.

To find out more about your own communication style, Assess Your Communication Style.

Also check out the list of Recommended Reading.

Other Resources
About the Author
Contact Ellen

Assess your Communication Style
How To Stop The Cycle of Endless Arguing
How Well Do You Listen?
Your Words Are Your Most Powerful Tool To Use Carefully
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