Effective Communication: A tool for successful life

Good communication is vital for success in all aspects of life. To communicate effectively, is the most important life skills of all. Strong communication helps in every area of life; professional, personal and everything in between. Unfortunately, when a person started to indulge himself into drugs, his communication skills begin to decline. At Rehabilitation Center, we emphasize the importance of good and strong communication skills and it is a vital part of treatment for SUD clients.

Before we explain the guidelines of effective communication, let us tell you about communication and its styles.

What does communication mean?

The word communication has come from a Latin word “communicate” which means “to share”. So, communication is sharing. It is sharing, exchanging or conveying information, knowledge, messages, feelings, ideas and thoughts in a way that make you understand yourself and other people in a better way. Through communication we create opinions about others and form relations, whether positive or negative. To put it simply, communication is interaction or social interaction.

Good communication is a key to make yourself and other people understands the conveyed message more easily, quickly and accurately. On the contrary, lack of good communication skills results in misunderstanding, confusion and frustration. Effective communication leads towards productivity, success and healthy relationships.

Importance of good communication

Through communication, we connect with people. It often happens that we are trying to say something with good intentions but the other person perceives it negatively. This happens because we did not convey our message clearly and consequently there will be miss-interpretation on the other side and confusion on our part. Most of the time people are not aware that it’s the style of communication that makes up the message to appear positive or negative. People cannot see our intentions. So, it’s important to understand how we communicate to others. To be aware of our way of conversation and to work on building good communication style will help us in creating healthy relationships and a stress-free productive life.

When clients come to Parvarish Recovery Center, mostly either they do not know how to convey their thoughts and feelings or they convey them very harshly. Our professional team at PRC Clifton, deals every client from day one in such a warm way that the clients open up their hearts to us very comfortably. The reason is this that all the team members at PRC Center communicate effectively and empathetically.

Let’s look at the most common styles of communication of clients who have addiction problems. These styles are not only limited to drug addiction clients, normally others have also used them at some point in their lives, but drug addicts used these styles so extensively, that they became part of their personality.

Styles of communication

Generally, there are 4 types of communication styles; three are ineffective and one is effective. Drug abuse clients use repeatedly the ineffective styles but they slowly and gradually learn the skill of effective communication and change their ineffective style of communication to effective one during their stay at our treatment rehab center. It’s a skill and everyone can learn it and make their life much more easier and stress free.

Ineffective Styles

Aggressive communication

As the name suggests, when people talk like this, they seem to be angry. Their words would be harsh and their voice will be in high tone. They will be staring at the other person and their posture would be authoritative and threatening. They will not bother about the other person’s personal space and boundaries and violate their rights. They will humiliate the other person. They will blame others and does not take responsibility of their own mistakes. They are impulsive, does not wait for their turn to speak and interrupts frequently when others are talking. They have a demanding attitude. They will not listen and does not show empathy. They are rude in their communication and often attack and criticize the other person. Clients with addiction problems often have aggressive style of communication.

Passive communication

In this style, people are not able to speak about their feelings and needs. They do not value themselves and always listen to others and submit to them. They do not want any conflicts and does not have any courage to speak up for their rights. These people often get bullied and used by other people. They do not make eye contact and their voice is always low. These people are less aware about their qualities and always become embarrassed when anyone compliments them. Their shoulders are always slouched. They can never say “no” to anyone. This way of communication leads to miss-understandings. SUD clients also communicate in this way and always feel shame and are unable to understand themselves and others well.


In this style, people seem to be very polite and helpful but their intentions are not good. They show that they are cooperative but actually they are full of resentment. Secretly they are plotting against the other person but on the surface, they show that they are nice. They are fake in their expression. They might become manipulative and dangerous. They have denial of their anger. They don’t show their anger openly, instead they try to sabotage the other person’s image and backstab them.  Sometimes, addiction clients also communicate in this way.

Effective Style

Assertive communication

It is the most effective way of communication. In this style, people state their needs and feelings openly, appropriately, clearly and firmly without violating the other person’s rights and also taking into account, feelings of the other person. They show empathy when needed and command firmly where it is required without threatening the other person. They use “I” statements, for example, “I understand, its ok if you do it in your own way”, or “I realized that it’s my fault” or “I feel that this could be better if we try it in this way”. They have a strong tone but not threatening voice. They agree to you but are not submissive or passive. They show respect for your choices and opinions. They accept that the other person may have their own individual style of doing things and different experiences in life. They are confident and have good self-esteem and self-awareness. At P-R-C, the skills of assertive communication have been taught to clients for a better expression and healthy relationships.

Rules of effective communication

Some of the guideline for effective communication are as follows:

  1. Use feeling words whenever you speak. Talk about your observations but do not generalize them to others. Do not make your sentences sound like facts. For example, use words like I feel, I think, in my opinion, according to my experience etc.
  2. Use appropriate facial expressions and body language that match your words. Do not stare but maintain soft eye contact. Do not point fingers toward others but use hand movements to explain yourself better.
  3. Talk precisely and accurately instead of using jargons and long complicated sentences. Talk politely and in a decent way. Don’t talk too fast or too slow.
  4. Don’t talk to just impress; talk to express your feelings, needs, and wants clearly.
  5. Appreciate and compliment others.
  6. When someone compliments you, say thank you and accept it. Don’t be shy about accepting compliments. Self-awarded people know their good qualities and accept their shortcomings.
  7. Express disagreement in a good way, with positive words instead of focusing on to prove the other person wrong.
  8. Be sure to ask for clarification when you don’t understand something. Ask the reason and logic behind something to understand it well. But, do not indulge yourself in arguments.
  9. Express your displeasure in positive words. Express when you feel hurt, disappointed and discomfort, but do not sound like complaining.
  10. Stand up for your rights in appropriate ways. Do not be aggressive. Convince with your strong reasons. Convince the other person or be convinced when you find the other person is right. Don’t be resented.
  11. Stick to appropriate and legitimate things.
  12. Let others speak too. Listen to others not just to answer but to understand their point of view.
  13. Learn to say “no” gently and accept when others say “no” to your demands.
  14. Get feedback from others. Let others speak their opinions and give importance to their opinions and feelings.
  15. Show empathy to others and be courteous.
  16. The tone and volume of your voice should be appropriate. Do not talk very loudly or in a very low volume. Do not be monotonous, it sounds like robotic and boring. Your tone should not be threatening or submissive, but it should be strong or polite.
  17. Don’t lie. Always provide correct and coherent information.
  18. Don’t use foul language.
  19. Talk creatively when communicating with children or when you need to engage audience (at workplace).


At Rehabilitation Center, along with addiction treatment and management planning, we help clients to be more effective and a productive person of the society by helping them to be more self-aware and learn better coping skills.

If you know anyone suffering from addiction, stress or other mental health problems, you can refer them to Parvarish Karachi. For more information regarding our services feel free to call at 0341-1959599 or visit our centers.

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