Assertiveness is the Key to Good Comunication
Most problems in relationships arecaused by bad communication skills. It is important to communicate correctly inorder to get what you want!
There are 4 differentcommunication styles:
People, who communicate in anaggressive way shout, threaten and blame others and no-one really listens tothem. As soon as we are blamed or attacked we build a “wall” around us, do notlisten any more and try to counter-attack.
A passive communication style willmake you feel that others take advantage of you. Passive people are scared tosay what they think or often don’t even know what they want hence others mightuse or manipulate them.
If you are passive-aggressive youalso do not say what you really want or think but rather make cynical remarksor talk in a sarcastic, negative way. Those remarks often have nothing to dowith the actual cause of your feeling upset.
Such communication styles are notbeneficial for building good relationships. We communicate to achieve a certainoutcome. It is important to find a communication style that will allow you toreach the outcome you anticipate.
We need to communicate in a way thatwe feel is respecting of ourselves and others.
Being assertive means just that.
Let’s get to work and look how youcan become more assertive:
- Before an importantconversation, think about your desired outcome. What do you want to achieve?Know what you want!
- When you say “no”don’t make it sound like “maybe”.
- Your body-language hasto match your verbal language. Don’t say “no” but have a smile on your face andsound as if the other one can convince you otherwise.
- Challenge your ownirrational thoughts and negative feelings. Why do you feel guilty to say no?Why do you keep on thinking “I should have….” , “Could have….”? Concentrate onthe positives.
- Be clear and to thepoint. Take responsibility for getting your message across. And make sure yourmessage is understood the way you intended it.
- Try not to be hastywhen making decisions or committing to something. You can always say: “I willcome back to you on that one”.
- Don’t blame others andavoid the “you” word, “you did this…”, “you are wrong….”. Rather use statementslike: “I feel…..”, “I get the impression that……”
- Sometimeswe cannot agree on one thing. Be prepared to negotiate a compromise that suitsboth parties. Make sure that you do not sacrifice yourrights.
- Believethat you are worthy, that you have rights and that you matter!
Being assertive has many beneficial outcomes for you. It willallow you to feel confident, improve your self-esteem, give and receivecompliments and criticism, establish healthyrelationships, take responsibility for your emotions and reduce stress.
It takes practise to become more assertive. Try it out firstwith people who are your friends and easy to talk to.Small successes will strengthen your new communication style. The more youpractise the more it will become a part of you. Always remind yourself: you deserveto get what you want by respecting yourself and others.