Tips for this assertive social skill
Assertiveness is a social skill in which one's rights are prioritized and defended in a respectful way before other people . It is strongly related to self-esteem, adaptive communication styles and the improvement of trust with other people (couples and / or family or social relationships).
If we imagine a horizontal line and place an assertive communication style in the middle, the other opposite extremes are passive communication styles (allowing others to decide for us and not expressing our rights) and aggressive (we are not objective and we do not respect ideas of others).
On the other hand, assertiveness is a skill that can be worked on and improved, getting them to respect us and respect others without having the goal of "winning or being better" but rather of reaching an agreement in each situation in a respectful way. both of them.
Here are 10 keys and very useful techniques to achieve an assertive communication style . There are different techniques to say what we think without being afraid of hurting the other or being aggressive in the process. Will you identify with any?
Recommended assertiveness techniques
These are several useful techniques to enhance assertiveness in your personal relationships.
1. Lower your guard
Avoid being defensive before starting the conversation with a person. On many occasions we have formed expectations of what is going to happen and we anticipate in our ways (inadequate physical and verbal communication).
Practice starting a conversation with another person by "resetting" previous problems so you don't have an aggressive anticipatory bias. It is as simple as understanding, how will the relationship with that person improve if I always behave in an aggressive, defensive or passive verbal way?
It is a first step to change communication with other people with whom we have had disagreements that have ended badly, if you change your attitude you will get the other person to change the way they treat you . It won't make sense to talk badly to you if your attitude is the opposite at all times.
2. Don't blame but be respected
If you are aware that the conversation is at a point that causes you discomfort or that you are both feeling bad, it is better to reflect on the other person without using reproach.
In this case, the least adaptive way would be to blame the other person for how he talks to you , using in these cases the second person singular: "You are the one who started the discussion ... You make me feel bad ... ". Being an assertive argument the following: "I have realized that I do not want to continue arguing with you, so I am going to make an effort to understand each other and not feel bad."
3. Phrases in the first person
It is one of the fundamental steps to work assertiveness. Express that it has made you feel bad, that it makes you suffer by indicating it with first-person phrases . This way it will be easier for the other person to feel empathy instead of perceiving an attack from you. It is about changing the REPROCHE for an adequate expression of your rights.
Thus, it is not the same to say: "You treat me badly in front of other people" to saying "I feel bad when you say something negative about me to other people".
4. Broken record technique
The broken record technique consists of repeating the same plot over and over in a calm and relaxed manner . It aims to be persistent in what we want or in our rights despite the insistence of the other.
It is useful when they try to manipulate us or want to change our mind by making us feel stupid. This technique, depending on the context, can be perceived by the other person as an aggressive display of behavior, so it must be used when really necessary or in combination with other assertive techniques.
5. Question Assertively
It consists of answering with a question how much an accusation or communication that you perceive in an aggressive way is made to you. What do we get? On the one hand, if the other person was making a constructive communication, that is, for helping us even though he was not using the best ways, he will give us more details about his approach . On the other hand, if it was an attack to hurt us emotionally, the interlocutor will not know where to continue the conversation.
An example could be, "You are the most irrational person I know" and answer "Why do you think I am irrational? ... How do you think I could improve that aspect?"
7. Negative assertion
A useful technique to learn from criticism, malicious or not. This technique is also very practical during coexistence with other people , since it is usual to carry shared responsibilities and that everything is not always carried out in the most desired way.
An example would be: "Again you have forgotten to wash the dishes. You are irresponsible ", an assertive person may avoid an argument and reply" I am very sorry for not having done it yet. I'm with (the task or reason why it could not be done). Next time I'll organize myself better. "
8. Think before you speak
We have surely received this advice on occasion, but it is true that to avoid falling into the same mistakes it is important to think about the message we want to convey and the appropriate ways to do it. Don't be in a hurry, think that bad manners will invalidate your message .
9. Empathize with the other person
Put yourself in the other person's shoes. How will you be living this situation? How would I live it in his place? Reflecting on these questions can lead to greater insights into our beliefs towards that person , including in our communication.
It is possible that the discomfort or frustration that the other person experiences is due to their circumstances and needs more support from us.
10. Commit not to accumulate complaints
It is preferable to express what bothers us and what we feel . As long as we are honest and express it in a direct and respectful way. Saving complaints can have the consequence of exploding at some point, expressing all the accumulated discomfort in a spiteful way.
When we reason about a problem, we tend to use a simple and useful outline most of the time. This way of thinking is what is known as linear thinking.
Coercive persuasion is a cognitive mechanism that operates through false beliefs and misconceptions. It leads a victim to think that it is desirable and convenient to perpetuate the bond that he maintains with his aggressor.
In couple relationships there is always a certain degree of commitment and, of course, seeking the company of the person you love. However, some people have an excessive emotional dependence on their partners .