Bold not Brash: Adopting Assertive Communication Styles

How we Communicate
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How a person communicates can show confidence, arrogance, humility and a range of other characteristic traits. Sometimes these traits can be quite obvious making the requirement of knowing the person not really important for you to assess whether the person is confident or is lacking in confidence. For example, Have you ever been at a party and notice the man or woman who enters the room and immediately becomes the target of which everyone else in the room takes notice of? It’s almost as if everyone else takes a momentary pause in their own conversation and pays attention to that one person who has just entered the room. A large part of this has to do with the energy field surrounding the person, be it large/expansive or in some case closed and darkened which like magnets attracting a certain energy to itself. Another part of this phenomenon is the communication style of the person. You may be saying, But if they just entered the room how can you tell what type of communication style the person has? This is a logical question and lots of times the way a person speaks or what he or she has to say does show whether the person is say too aggressive or simply just assertive. The fact is that a person’s communication style is not simply spoken language but is also composed of the nonverbal attributes that a person uses at any given time. How a persons holds their head, whether they give eye contact, the speed in their stride are each nonverbal indicators of who the person is and how they feel about themselves. Styles of communicating may be described as passive, aggressive, passive aggressive, manipulative or assertive.

Communication Styles

Always giving in to what others want. Afraid to say no. Discounting your own needs and wants
Being demanding, hostile or rude. Insensitive to the rights of others. Intimidates others to doing things your way. Disrespectful

You tell people what they want to hear to avoid conflict but inside you feel angry and resentful.
Attempts to get people to do what you want by making them feel guilty. May play the victim role to get your needs met.
Directly, honestly, and appropriately states thoughts, feelings, needs, or wants. Takes responsibility for self. Respectful to others. Effective problem solver and listener.

Tips on Becoming Assertive

Part One

  1. Guilt in saying “NO” Ask yourself: Is the request reasonable? Ask for more clarification to get the facts straight.
  2. Practice saying, “NO”
  3. Quit apologizing if it is something you can not do or do not want to do. (Quit saying, I’m sorry but……)

Remember saying “Yes” when you want to say “NO” brings on anger, resentment and possible depression. It leads to a lack of communication and a weakening relationship with others as well as with self.

Part Two

  1. Accept “NO” for an answer . Remember you are not being rejected as an individual, it is your request that’s being rejected.
  2. Accepting your request is not an approval of you it’s simply an approval of your request.
  3. Assertiveness does not mean getting what you want. It means a gate code to an honest and respectful relationship.

Other Tips

  1. Accept the things you can not change. Other people’s feelings about you or a situation is beyond your means to control.
  2. Balance. Relationships are give and take so you must live in the space between passivity and aggressiveness.
  3. Boundaries & Boardwalk. Clearly identify where you boundaries are and stick to them. If you don’t the other person surely won’t.
  4. Conflict ain’t bad. Recognize that conflict is sure to happen and is a means to greater respect and understanding between people.
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