'Communicate' seems to have become everyone's favourite one-word advice. But truth is, sometimes silence really is the better option. Not the kind of heavy silence that masks grudges and causes further conflict. But rather, the kind of silence that encourages you to move on and not turn every petty disagreement into a major issue.
Communication tends to highlight a problem at hand - in fact, too much of it can create a problem where there was none. This is where it's worth going back to that old adage - choose your battles wisely. There are times when the best of us behave in a manner that may not be worthy of us. Do people have to be punished for every one of these minor faux pas? I think not.
At the workplace, voicing your displeasure too frequently can damage valuable relationships. Communicate when you need to, but don't over-communicate. Reserve the 'clearing the air' sessions for the things that really matter. And remember, in several cases, people are aware when they have rubbed you the wrong way. Chances are, they will rectify their behaviour on their own, without your having to point it out.
Bringing things out in the open magnifies their gravity. It has the potential to put people on the defensive. It can also foster hostility between the people involved.
Cases when communication may not be key:
The problem is a one-off occurrence
The problem has only a short-term impact
The problem can be dealt with actions instead of words
Think about it. Is one missing cc on an email worth a month of stilted conversations and negative synergy? Standing up for yourself is important. But so is keeping the peace.
As a side note, communicating too much can also result in your revealing more than you intended to. The office is not a place to bare your heart, irrespective of consequences. You can always choose to reveal more later - but you can never erase what has already been said/emailed/messaged. Don't withhold key information. But don't lay all your cards on the table at once. Information is power - voice it sparingly. It makes good business sense.