Being assertive is the most effective way to communicate our feelings and opinions especially when we don’t necessarily agree with others around us. However, it is also one of the most difficult communication styles to achieve partially because when we become aroused (excited, angry or anxious) we are less likely to use conscious thought and be conscientious in our approach…we are more likely to bark out commands or become defensive in our tone. The second reason why being assertive is often neglected is because of lack of practice. When we practice a new skill we create new mental habits and therefore improve the likelihood we will call upon it during times of distress.
Here are 7 simple, but highly effective strategies to use when you are looking to make a request from another and voice a different or negative opinion
Automatic thoughts are the thoughts and images that involuntarily pop into our conscious (or just below if they are habitual). They make up how we “read” a situation and are assumed to be “True” at the time they are generated. Reactive behavior is based on automatic thinking.Understanding your automatic thoughts can influence change in a variety of situations.
Be aware since -even small irritations or stressor influence how we process information and therefore effecting automatically your thinking style. Think about how quickly at times you can go from an open attitude to a defensive one. When we feel stressed it effects how you perceive the world and your own existence . Most likely you will see things are more threatening and problematic until your emotions simmer.
Developing a deeper understanding of what is expected of you based on what you are contributing can be the difference between doing something begrudgingly & eventually becoming resentful and carrying out a task because it brings you value and a sense of self accomplishment and harmony in your systems and relationships.
When interpreting the cause of someone’s behavior we are more likely to think the reason has more to do with a personal reason than attribute it to a situational factor. For example, when a friend fails to call you, you are more likely to see their behavior as disinterested, rude, carelessness or disorganized, rather than to weigh heavily that they may be busy at work, talking to someone else, in a quiet or too nosey place or with no cell phone reception.
* Do you have difficulty in some situations expressing thoughts, feelings or personal desires?
* Does fear of disapproval hinder your performance?
* Do you find saying “No” so difficult that you commonly endure under desired activity
* Do you have a pattern of suppressing bad feelings until one single event triggers explosions of resentment?
* Do you anticipate rejection or failure if assertive?
* Do you fear all conflict so much that you avoid stating your opinion?
* Do you avoid or suffer high levels of anxiety or discomfort in certain social interactions?
* Do you find yourself ruminating or consumed with worry when facing a threatening situation?
* Do you avoid dating or meeting new people?
If you answered Yes, then consider joining me on Dec 20th for an extensive talk on how Cognitive Group Therapy can help you.
Successful people are not successful because they are always naturally gifted or the best. They are successful because failure and mediocrity does not seem to derail their efforts; they are successful because they always come back for more.
Are you a Maximizer vs. Satisficers?
Depending how much information you require and how much time you spend analyzing the information before moving on to the solution focused stage determines whether or not you are considered a “maximizer” or a “satisficer” in your decision making style.
Dealing with disappointment can be disheartening to say the least. No one likes to be confronted with the revelation of “NO”. No one likes to be told what they wanted is not available, that their needs will not be honored or what they expected is not likely to occur.
However, how you handle yourself in these situations can determine just how far your level of disappointment goes, whether it stops at a healthy level of frustration, or whether it escalates to more intense levels of anger and hostility.
There are 6 basic types of social power that influence others…which type are you?
If you have ever wondered why some people seem to be more effective at influencing the opinions and behaviors of others, consider the social power possessed by the influencer and the role-identity of the followers.