Assertiveness is a vital component of communication in many domains, whether you’re interacting in the workplace or with friends and family. You’ll discover everything you need to know about assertive communication right here.
Have you ever struggled to convey your message in a clear but non-aggressive manner? Or do you have difficulty communicating your needs? Assertive communication can be a great strategy for balancing our relationships while also meeting our individual needs. In this article, we’ll discuss assertive communication as well as teach you how to communicate more assertively.
Table of Contents
What Does Assertive Communication Entail?
You’ve definitely heard the term “assertive communication,” but what precisely does it entail? Assertive communication is defined as “the ability to talk and engage in a way that recognizes and respects the rights and opinions of others while simultaneously advocating for your own rights, needs, and personal limits.”
To put it another way, assertive communication is boldly communicating your requirements in a straightforward yet calm and reasonable manner while also considering the needs of the other person. This is a crucial kind of communication in a variety of sectors since it allows you to communicate your wishes, requirements, or opinions, as well as stand up for yourself when necessary.
What Are the Characteristics of Assertive Communication?
Assertive communication entails a variety of verbal and nonverbal characteristics.
- Direct Eye Contact. demonstrates that the speaker is confident and unafraid.
- A Confident Stance or Posture. that strikes the perfect combination of power and casualness. Standing rigidly, for example, maybe regarded as hostile, but slouching may be perceived as weak.
- The Tone of Voice. A powerful voice implies assertiveness while raising one’s voice conveys hostility and is likely to elicit retaliation.
- The Expression on the Face. Expressions that are neither furious nor anxious are required to convey the intended message.
- Timing. Assertive communication must be done at the correct time (e.g., making requests from one’s spouse in the middle of a dinner party is not likely to be well accepted).
- Non-Threatening and Non-Blaming Language. Language like “If you keep doing that, you will be sorry!” is threatening rather than aggressive.
- Clarity. “Can you please not be that way?” is ambiguous, whereas “Can you please not walk away when we’re talking?” is specific. presents the speaker’s demands more plainly
- The Language That Is Positive. Making a negative request, for example, (“Will you stop leaving your papers all over the house?”) is less effective than making a good request (“Here’s a divider I’ve set up. Will you please set your paperwork here?”).
- The Language That Is Not Critical of Oneself or Others. For example, “I realize I’m excessively sensitive, but could you kindly refrain from using that word?” “Didn’t anyone ever teach you any manners?”
Let’s Understand Assertiveness Through Some Real-Life Examples for Better Understanding
- Your mother has asked you to come over to her house as soon as possible to assist her in sorting through the stuff she wants to sell at a garage sale. You intended to spend the evening relaxing, taking a soothing bath, and simply lying about because you’d had a difficult week at work.”I understand you require assistance, and I would like to assist you.” I need to take care of myself today because I’m exhausted. I’ll be able to assist you better tomorrow. Is it something you’d be interested in?”Caring for yourself and valuing your needs as much as the needs of others is part of being assertive. “I am worthy of this,” an assertive individual asserts. “I’ve earned it.”
- You intended to meet your partner for a lovely supper at a restaurant. You arrive, but she is – once again – late. Every time you make plans, she appears to leave you hanging while arriving 20-30 minutes after the scheduled meeting time.”Did something unexpected happen that caused you to be late?” I’m wounded when I have to wait for you again and over because you’re always late. It makes me anxious and makes me feels like I’m not a priority. Is there anything I can do to assist you in resolving this issue?”Instead of blaming or insulting the other person, assertive people utilize “I” comments. Offering to assist in the solution-finding process shows the other person that you care.
- Every day when you get home from work, your husband and kids ignore you and go about their business. No one acknowledges you or inquires about your day.”I’m unhappy when I get home and no one greets me or asks how my day went.” “I’m lonely and unappreciated.”Assertive people always articulate the problem rather than assuming that others understand what they think, feel, or require.
- When you advise your adolescent son to tidy up his room or help around the house, he is known to become enraged.
- Your boss has asked you to complete your coworker’s report because she has slipped behind schedule, and he knows how well you work. This has happened several times. “I’ve been handed extra work for the fourth time this month because Lisa has slipped behind.” I want to be a team player, but when I’m overburdened, I get stressed. “What can we do to prevent this from happening again?” Stating the facts and sharing your sentiments helps to avoid raising the other person’s defenses. Offering to assist in resolving the issue conveys your concerns.
- You work full-time, have three little children at home, and teach yoga classes twice a week. Some members of your church are pleading with you to participate in a labor-intensive fundraiser “This isn’t a high priority for me.” If I have time, I will assist with the next fundraiser.” Assertive people understand that saying no to something you don’t want to do is entirely acceptable. Explaining why you’re declining may be beneficial, but it’s not required. Nobody benefits from acquiescence.
- Your brother-in-law requests a $500 loan, and you are skeptical since he has a history of failing to meet his financial obligations. “I have a policy of never lending money to friends or family members.” A “policy statement” is an effective technique to convey your essential values and define what you will and will not do.
- Your husband is ranting and moaning that you aren’t giving the household enough time and care. He goes on to outline a slew of defects in your character that he sees. “I see you’re upset. I hear you suggesting that you believe I should devote more time to. I, on the other hand, disagree with you, and here’s why.” Assertive people aren’t swayed by rage or other powerful emotions. They recognize the other person’s feelings and views, but then openly express their own.
- Someone in the car you’re riding in begins singing off-key and continues for 20 minutes. It starts to irritate you, so you respectfully urge her to stop, but she doesn’t. “I know you enjoy singing, but I can’t stand it right now.” If you don’t stop, I’ll pull over and get out.” Being assertive sometimes entails informing the other person of the implications of their behavior. It’s fine to declare your requirements and then take action that reinforces your own views and aspirations.
What Are the Three C’s of Assertive Communication?
What Are the Three C’s of Assertive Communication? You have confidence in your abilities to handle an issue. Clear — your message is clear and simple to understand. You present information in a calm and controlled manner.
Communication Assertiveness Techniques
Let’s take a look at each of the six assertiveness tactics one by one.
- Rehearsal of Behavior
This is essentially practicing how you want to appear and sound. It is a highly effective method for the first time you want to utilize “I” statements since it helps disperse any emotion associated with an experience and allows you to accurately identify the behavior you want to challenge.
- Repetition of Assertion (the “Broken Record”)
This assertiveness approach makes you feel at ease by avoiding deceptive linguistic side traps, argumentative baiting, and irrelevant logic while remaining focused on your topic. To apply this assertiveness method most effectively, use calm repetition, express what you want, and keep focused on the subjectYou’ll discover that there’s no need to practice this approach or ‘pump yourself up’ to interact with others.
This strategy enables you to receive criticism without becoming worried or defensive, and without rewarding manipulative criticism. To do so, you must acknowledge the criticism, admit that some of what they say may be true, but remain the judge of your course of action.
- Inquiry Into the Negative
In close relationships, this assertiveness strategy looks out for criticism about yourself by stimulating the expression of honest, negative feelings in order to improve communication. To use it effectively, you must first listen for critical comments, then clarify your comprehension of those criticisms, then apply the information if it is useful or disregard it if it is manipulative.
- Negative Affirmation
This assertiveness approach allows you to look more comfortably at bad aspects of your own behavior or personality without feeling defensive or frightened; it also decreases the animosity of your critics. Accept your mistakes or faults, but do not apologize Instead, agree tentatively and gently to a critical critique of your flaws.
- Compromise That Works
Consider a workable agreement with the other person when you feel your self-respect is not in jeopardy. You can always bargain for your material ambitions as long as the compromise does not negatively impact your personal sentiments of self-respect. However, if the end aim includes your self-esteem and self-worth, THERE CAN BE NO COMPROMISE.
If your initial attempts to establish yourself were ineffective, you may need to escalate the situation. This entails getting firmer (but remaining courteous and respectful) with the person from whom you are requesting assistance, and may result in you telling them what you will do next if you are still dissatisfied, such as initiating the disciplinary procedure. However, keep in mind that even if you express the repercussions to the individual in the issue, you may still not receive what you want in the end. If this is the case, you may need to take more action, such as organizing a formal meeting to discuss the issue of raising your concerns to Human Resources or your boss.
Why Is Assertive Communication an Effective Communication Strategy?
Assertive communication not only allows us to express our opinions and achieve our goals, but it also allows us to do so without harming or alienating others. It is essential for creating mutual regard for one another.
What Is the Distinction Between Assertive and Aggressive Communication?
Assertive communication is the delivery of your message in a direct but accepting and courteous manner. Aggressive communication, on the other side, is when someone speaks in a rude, arrogant, and dictatorial manner.
Being assertive is something that everyone improves at with practice. Nobody reacts assertively all of the time. When we become irritated, we may become aggressive. When we are confronted with authoritarian persons, we may find ourselves in a passive mindset. Your goal should be to practice assertiveness skills and incorporate them into your interactions as much as possible. Perhaps you have no problem being aggressive with your family but struggle with it at work. The most crucial aspect of assertiveness is taking the time to notice how you feel and understand that you have the right to be true to yourself and communicate your opinions and desires honestly.