What is Assertiveness Training?
Assertiveness is a way to communicate your needs or rights in a way that respects the rights of others as opposed to being aggressive or accepting passively something that is wrong. Assertiveness training by a qualified coach/therapist will help you recognize the communication patterns that aren’t working in your life. It is assertiveness training that teaches you how to express yourself in a way that really works. A way that is empowering without needing to bowl people over or offend them. So that whatever or whoever comes your way you can handle it in way that you feel proud of. This type of communication can greatly improve and strengthen relationships. The therapist will first help you identify what you are really feeling and next teach you new ways of expressing it that are effective and really work.
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Why is it important to learn to be assertive?
It is important because in every relationship you will have to have difficult conversations about challenging topics and you want to be able to handle them confidently and, in a way, that you can feel proud of. Plus, you don’t want to make the situation worse by the way you discuss it or damage a relationship even further by saying something in ways that escalates the situation. Do you have trouble telling others (employees, bosses, partners, colleagues, friends, etc.) when you didn’t like something or saying no to things you don’t want to do. Or, do you often hurt people by being too aggressive? I think most individuals can use a little help in this area of their lives. Assertiveness can bring more peace and harmony to your relationships and bring you even closer to other people when done effectively. It can increase happiness by helping to solve problems and anything that doesn’t make you happy.
Non-Assertive Communication Styles Include:
This type of communicating your feelings and desires is harsh and hurtful. It can often cause anxiety, hurt, anger, and defensiveness in others as it does not take the feelings of others into account.
This is when you do not communicate at all. You hold your feelings in, you don’t say no to things you don’t want to do,
You do things you don’t want to do and often feel resentful and this can often lead aggressiveness when they build to a certain point.
Passive-aggressiveness is when you don’t directly tell someone something bothered you but you display aggressive behaviours that people have trouble putting their finger on. You might show up late or burn dinner for example. You are angry at someone and you show it with implicit behaviours.
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Assertiveness training will teach you the following assertive behaviours:
- Saying no to demands and requests
- Setting boundaries and sticking with them/being firm
- Talking about things that bother you or addressing problems
- Asking others for help, favours, requests
- Beginning, changing and ending conversations
- Expressing feelings, thoughts, opinions, experiences
- sharing positive and/or negative emotions
- Challenging rules/traditions that are unfair, don’t work, don’t make any sense
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Crucial Conversations: Tools for talking when the stakes are high Patterson, Kerry