Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Assertiveness

Have you ever met someone who says it like it is? It can be refreshing. But it can, all too soon, become obnoxious. How do you draw the line between what to say and when to say it? A friend pointed me to a quote by Dr. Seuss today: Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
Lately, I've  realized something important: I shouldn't hold back how I feel. I should speak my mind. It isn't offensive to say you don't like an idea or you're uneasy with how things are going. Not speaking my mind has made me feel like a pushover - and made me appear to be a pushover to others. Yet there is a fine line you can cross when speaking up and you can pay a price for it at times.
I once heard that eating disorders can be terrible because when a person first loses weight, people congratulates them. Which reinforces the behaviour, and this impacts the excess. Do you think assertiveness is like that? At first it is refreshing, and so the person is emboldened and plows on, discretion be damned.
Part of being assertive involves the ability to appropriately express your needs and feelings. You can accomplish this by using "I" statements. These indicate ownership, do not attribute blame, focuses on behaviour, identifies the effect of behaviour, is direct and honest, and contributes to the growth of your relationship with each other.

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