Aggressiveness: a verbal attack that demeans another person’s selfconcept and inflicts
Ambiguous response: a response with more than one meaning, leaving the other person unsure
of the responder’s position.
Argumentativeness: presenting and defending positions on issues while attacking positions
taken by others.
Certainty: absolute belief that one’s position is correct and the ideas of others are not worth
considering. Likely to arouse defensiveness, according to Gibb.
Communication climate: the emotional tone of a relationship between two or more individuals.
Complaining: a disagreeing message that directly or indirectly communicates dissatisfaction
with another person.
Confirming message: a message that expresses caring or respect for another person.
Controlling communication: according to Gibb, messages that attempt to impose some sort of
outcome on another person, resulting in a defensive response.
Defensiveness: the attempt to protect a presenting image that a person believes is being attacked.
Description: messages that describe a speaker’s position without evaluating others.
Disagreeing message: message that essentially tells to another person, “you are wrong”;
includes argumentativeness, complaining, and aggressiveness.
Disconfirming message: message that expresses a lack of caring or respect for another person.
Empathy: the ability to project oneself into another person’s point of view in an attempt to
experience his or her thoughts and feelings.
Equality: a type of supportive communication described by Gibb which suggests that the sender
regards the receiver with respect.
Evaluation: message in which a sender judges a receiver in some way, usually resulting in a
Face: the image an individual wants to project to the w