People exhibit different behaviours in their communication with one another. Think of the last conflict that you had or that you witnessed and look at it from the perspective of a third party observing the situation.
Was there emotion, blame, finger pointing, raised voices, sarcasm, rigid stances? These characteristics are often associated with aggressive behaviour.
If one person was meek, avoiding conflict and eye contact and apologising for things which were not their fault then this may indicate passive behaviour.
People using assertive behaviour tend to use a calm tone, be non-blaming and are able to clearly and honestly discuss the situation with careful consideration and respect.
It is very easy to get caught up in the emotion of the situation especially in parent/teenager communication. By being aware that these behaviours exist we can look out for key words and non-verbal body language which are characteristic of these different behaviours.
If you need support in communicating with your teenager contact ToughLove by visiting their website to find a group near you. http://www.toughlove.org.au/index.htm