What are Assertive Communication Skills?
According to the dictionary, assertive is “confidently aggressive” or “self-assured”. Assertiveness can be described as a communication skill that allows you confidently to express your opinions and views while still respecting others’ views.
Communication is a given. Communication is the heart and soul for both professional and personal relationships. Depending on our communication skills, it can either open doors to productive relationships and a positive working environment or close them. A confident communication style can allow us to achieve the things that we desire. It goes beyond that. Being assertive shows respect for others and ourselves. Confident people communicate that they believe in themselves. They aren’t too shy or too pushy. They are aware that their thoughts and feelings matter. They are confident.
What are the benefits of Assertive Communication?
People who are assertive make friends easier. They communicate with others in a way that is respectful of their needs and those of others. They are more adept at resolving conflicts and avoiding disagreements. Respectful people get respect back.
We tend to be passive or aggressive when we interact with others regularly. Lack of self-confidence is often the reason for inappropriate expressions. However, assertiveness is not passive or aggressive. It is a balanced behavior. Assertiveness is the ability to express one’s thoughts and feelings in a direct, honest and right manner. Respecting others’ thoughts and beliefs is a way to defend your own.
It takes a lot of interpersonal and personal skills to be able to express your feelings and wishes effectively. As we interact with others, whether at work, home, or with clients, colleagues, or clients, assertiveness allows us to express ourselves clearly, openly, and fairly, without having to ignore or disregard others. You communicate assertively by acknowledging the feelings and wishes of the other person, and openly sharing your own. This communication style is very stress-free.
Aggressive communication can be stressful, as can passive communication. One of the parties involved will feel humiliated or threatened. You might regret putting your needs above the rights of the other person if you’re on the “strong” side.
Why is it that some people are assertive and others more passive or aggressive in their communication styles?
It’s partly about your personality. Another part is the habits and experiences we acquire. We also learn how to be assertive and passive from others, especially those who are our parents. It is about practicing communication skills and having the right attitude.
Consider which communication style (assertive or passive, aggressive, or neutral) is closest to yours. Next, decide if you need to be more assertive, passive or aggressive. You can become more assertive and less passive by paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, desires, and preferences.
These are the things you need to know before you can communicate assertively with others.
- You can express your feelings about a situation by using “I want” and “I feel.”
- It can be difficult to say no. It’s not easy to say no.
- You might find it difficult to believe that you can say no. But, think about what you will be giving up if you do. It could be precious time with family and friends, sleep, peace, or other opportunities. This can help you to stay motivated.
- It’s OK to admit that you need assistance. You not only show that you are comfortable asking for help, but also you model for others that it is okay to ask for it.
- Be open to receiving feedback and opinions from others. Consider feedback as a gift. It can give you insight that you may not have otherwise.
- Empathy is a powerful tool. Think about how others might feel in certain situations. People may experience the same situation differently depending on their circumstances. Recognise your feelings and perspectives, but still be clear about what you want from the situation.
- Pay attention to any sensations you feel in your body that could indicate an increase in your emotions. You might feel tightness in the chest, tightness in your stomach, knots in you stomach, buzzing in and around your ears, or restricted breathing.
- To counter the rising emotions, you can use self-talk (mentally).
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