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Tips for communicating assertively

Tips for communicating assertively

  • Make sure your body reflects confidence: stand up straight, look people in the eye, and relax.
  • Use a firm, but pleasant, tone.
  • Don’t assume you know what the other person’s motives are, especially if you think they’re negative.
  • When in a discussion, don’t forget to listen and ask questions! It’s important to understand the other person’s point of view as well.
  • Try to think win-win: see if you can find a compromise or a way for you both to get your needs met. 

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It empowers you to draw necessary boundaries with people that will allow you to get your needs met in relationships without alienating others and without letting resentment and anger creep in.

Many people mistake assertiveness for aggressiveness, but assertiveness is actually ...

A great formula that puts it all together: “When you [their behavior], I feel [your feelings].”

When used with factual statements, rather than judgments or labels, this formula provides a direct, non-attacking, more responsible way of letting people know how their behavior affects yo...

Being factual about what you don't like in someone's behavior (without overdramatizing) is an important start. 

The same should be done in describing the effects of their behavior. Don’t exaggerate, label or judge; just describe.

A sentence starting with “You...” comes off as more of a judgment or an attack and puts people on the defensive.

If you start with “I,” the focus is more on how you are feeling and how you are affected by their behavior. Also, it shows more ownership of your reactions and less blame....

... especially when it comes to things you don't like.

When approaching someone about the behavior you’d like to see changed, stick to factual descriptions of what they’ve done that has upset you, rather than using negative labels or words that convey judgment.

Include the results of their behavior, in factual terms:

“When you [their behavior], then [results of their behavior], and I feel [how you feel].”

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