What is Assertive Behaviour?
Here’s a Christian proverb; “wisdom makes one man more powerful than ten rulers in a city” What is assertiveness & assertive behaviour?
Assertive behaviour is the ability to formulate and communicate one’s own thoughts and wishes in a clear, direct and non-aggressive way! It’s about knowing where you stand, and communicating from this starting point. You are more likely to get what you want, in half the time, and without treading on everyone’s toes in the process – you can’t loose!
What will being assertive do for me?
It will raise your self-esteem by showing you how to resist bully tactics and emotional blackmail without using aggression! People who develop good communication skills are able to defuse difficult situations. Naturally this will help in romantic relationships too. Far from being more difficult to deal with, being assertive will make you easier to deal with as people know where they stand. Assertive behaviour also promotes a positive response in others!
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How do we become who we are?
With life’s knocks we pick up all sorts of behaviour patterns good and bad, that make us who we are. We end up assuming bad traits are part of our true self when in fact they’re not. Just as It’s not good to be aggressive it’s not good to let people walk on you. The answer in an age where people are increasingly resorting to bullying is to be assertive – or be an easy target! Being unassertive doesn’t make you bad, but it stops you from using your full potential.
Children Behave Assertively!
Does a child offend you when it becomes upset? No – because it’s not attacking you directly but expressing earnestly its wants and needs. To be successful in dealing with people we must express ourselves earnestly!
Does Assertive Behaviour add anything to male/female relationships?
Yes! Anything that improves your communication skills will do this.
Steps to Being Assertive
When feeling threatened . . .
- pray God intervenes. God will act in your life if you genuinely want Him to. Conflicts and threatening situations can be defused if one party involved invokes God’s healing power.
- use assertive behaviour
During conflict situations a person may adopt four types of response:
- Assertive behaviour
Passive response is appropriate at times (when dealing with someone who could be violent at any moment).
Sniper response is particularly tasteless and includes things like spreading rumours or withholding information.
Aggressive response is characterised by shouting, abusive language, obscene gestures, invasion of body space, aggressive postures and irrational behaviour.Ê This demonstrates lack of maturity.
Assertive behaviour means feeling good about yourself, being aware of your rights and taking responsibility for your actions.
Examples of Assertive & Agressive Behaviour
please leave these premises
I think your language is unacceptable
I do not wish to continue this conversation
You are a rude b******
Shut your mouth
you have fundamental rights:
The right to speak and to be heard
The right to make errors
The right to change your mind
The right to be responsible only for yourself and your actions
The right to say no
When dealing with difficult people . . .
You have the right to terminate a conversation
You have the right to choose a proper place for a discussion
You have the right to be treated with respect
Points to remember
1) You can be assertive with people on a higher level than you as long as you show respect in words and actions.
3) “YOU” statements cause defensive responses promoting conflict.
How to negotiate
By Alexander Wilson JP BSc (Psych.) PhD.
Listen attentively. This is the most important part of successful assertive negotiations. Empathise with the other person. See things from their view so you remain calm and objective. People respond positively if they think you are willing to listen. Summarise the key points of the problem to demonstrate you’re listening and willing to cooperate.
Be sure your statements are correct. Vagueness will be seen as weakness and increase resistance. If you request a person stop doing something which is offensive, say so with a firm, calm voice. Always have an alternative solution ready. In most cases, you should be able to find several solutions. Remember the way you feel about yourself and others comes out in the way you talk (from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks)
Always give the other party opportunity to retreat without loss of face. A WIN-WIN solution is the most successful ending to confrontation. Use words and body language to defuse a confrontation. For example. “I am sure we can solve this problem together”. What can I do to help this situation for you?
- Decide if you want to say yes or no. You may need time to think it over – let the person know when you’ll be ready. Know what you want.
- Ask for clarification if you don’t understand what is requested of you.
- Be as brief as possible with a legitimate reason for your refusal. Avoid elaborate justifications as these may be used to argue you out of your “no.”
- Use the word “no”. “No” has more power and is less ambiguous than, “Well, I just don’t think so…”
- Make sure your gestures mirror your verbal messages. Shake your head when saying “no.” Often people unknowingly nod their heads and smile when they are attempting to refuse.
- “I won’t” or “I’ve decided not to” are better than “I can’t” or “I shouldn’t”. This emphasises that you have made a choice.
- You may have to decline several times before the person “hears” you. It is not necessary to come up with a new explanation each time, just repeat your “no” and your original reason for declining.
- If the person persists after you have repeated “no” several times, use silence (easier on the phone), or change the topic of conversation. You have the right to end the conversation.
- You may want to acknowledge any feelings another has about your refusal, “I know this will be a disappointment to you, but I won’t be able to…” Don’t say “I’m sorry”. In most situations saying “I’m sorry” tends to compromise your basic right to say “no.”
- Avoid feeling guilty. It’s not up to you to solve others’ problems.
- If you do not want to agree to the person’s original request, but still desire to help them out, offer a compromise: “I will not be able to baby-sit the whole day, but I can sit for two hours.” – You can say “no” to a request you originally “said” yes to!
Such a program could help to acquire a new set of responses and to be more effective in your interaction and communication with others. You would learn what to say or do in various situations, when to say it, and, importantly, how to say it. Getting a little bit ”people-smarter” can’t hurt, and it can make you feel so much better about yourself.
Always create distance from the other party when involved in serious confrontation. If someone becomes physically violent, contact the Police.
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