The Art of Assertiveness

5 Feb

The Art of Assertiveness by Joanna Crosse
In this blog post, Joanna Crosse talks about assertiveness. You can find her audio titles, among others in our Self Help section.

In my experience many people get the word assertiveness muddled with aggressive so I thought would start by explaining what being assertive means!

Assertive behaviour is about being able to communicate clearly and confidently, getting your message across and being heard.  Learning assertive communication means knowing who you’re talking to, targeting your message and being able to listen well. Using the right language for the right situation and finding the best way to say the most difficult things is assertiveness at its best. Learn how to break patterns of aggressive or passive behaviour and find your voice.

Aggressive behaviour is when someone is blaming or insulting. It’s also when someone gets into your personal space or you feel invaded in any way. If someone uses angry language we can feel as though we’re in the wrong or that they’ve imposed their view on us.

Passive aggressive behaviour is when a person expresses their negative feelings in an indirect or silent way. Think about the phrase – cut the atmosphere with a knife- sums up this kind of unpleasant communication.

If you store up your resentments and say yes or when you mean no it’s like having a book of stamps and when the last un-dealt with negative feeling goes in then you explode with rage or with tears of sheer frustration.

Use the ‘I’ word. If you own your feelings and experiences it is so much easier for someone on the receiving end to hear what you’re saying and respond well.

Finally a New Year’s tip – if someone offers you a compliment accept it like a gift. If someone gave you a present it’s unlikely you would shove it back in his or her face – well treat compliments in the same way. Besides which who are you to say you know better than the person offering you the praise?!


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