Assertive communication is in a intermediate point between aggressive and passive communication. Allowing us to present our arguments without judging or assaulting the recipient of the message or their own convictions.
Being assertiveness an essential ability to negotiate and avoid any type of conflict.
- 1 How to use assertive communication?
- 2 Aggressive communication
- 3 Wake up beauty: Creativity in the art of love
- 4 We live in poetry: Poems and thoughts in prose
- 5 Passive Communication
How to use assertive communication?
To be more assertive it is important to understand all the concepts that encompass its definition. Therefore, we will later define their opposite poles, since the Assertive communication is not always the best solution. We will often place ourselves on a scale in which assertive communication will be the central pillar on which we will dance between aggressiveness and passivity with the greatest possible intelligence.
Characteristics of assertive communication
- It allows us to offer and defend our interests, opinions and beliefs.
- It is fair and avoids attacking others or judging them.
- Understand that there are no absolute truths and value the opinions of others despite defending their own.
- It allows us to respect ourselves without the need to attack others or raise the tone of voice.
- Assertive communication reflects intelligence, understanding of human psychology and high self-esteem. Forming assertiveness part of the essential features of a attractive personality.
- It is more persuasive facilitating that we can convince and understand others.
- Get calm emotions derived from anger and resentment because it allows us to be calm.
- Bet on the win-win, or at least that is your goal on paper. Sometimes it is even more affective to win even though the other loses. Especially when it is discussed in front of other people or in the political sphere. He who loses assertiveness is usually perceived as more insecure or out of control.
- When speaking assertively we usually make more use of emotional communication, using feelings to make the message more impactful and easy to understand.
- Assertiveness helps us communicate with empathy, these two skills being essential for each other.
- Aim and propose solutions avoiding criticizing disparagingly.
- Look to the bright side of things and then provide improvement solutions and motivate your persecution.
- She is polite, asking for things please and thanking.
Assertive communication examples
How to give advice to a worker
"Hi Juan, can I talk to you for a second?" I have realized that you treat clients very well and they value your advice very positively. However, sometimes I see that a customer arrives and instead of attending to him and going to see if he needs anything, you keep doing other things. Sometimes I have seen them looking to see if they saw you and it seemed that you did not realize.
—Well, if I get too close to them, they can overwhelm me or they just answer me no, they are just watching and I don't want to be heavy either.
-I understand you perfectly. Sometimes it's hard to keep a balance and know when they want help and when they don't. I have a trick for that. While you do other things, keep an eye on them. If you see that they look at you as if they were looking for you or they make you gesture that they need help, you just come and ask them. With a little practice and with the good seller you are, you will surely get the hang of it and you can increase your sales, your commissions and your chances of promotion.
How to propose to make a trip
"Honey, I have an offer you can't refuse." What do you think if we look for a week this holiday and go on a cruise?
—Pufff, I don't know… Right now with work I am super overwhelmed. I do not feel like doing anything.
"I understand you." The same happens to me. That is why I thought it would be good for us to disconnect from everything. Charge batteries and enjoy a worry-free week. I think we both deserve it. And although at first it costs a little to get out of the monotony, I'm sure that we'll have a great time later.
"Yes, there you are right but I don't know ...
"Leave it to me." I assure you that you will not regret it. I'll take care of it. I have my weapons! - Determines saying playful and sexy to finish convincing him.
Sneak into the supermarket queue
"Sorry, I'm sure you haven't noticed, but I was ahead." If you don't mind what happens first?
"Of course, sorry." I did not see you!
—Don't worry, sometimes it happened to me (he ends up answering with a smile and good humor).
Persuade to move forward and overcome difficulties
"You're a very nice boy, but I want you to know that tonight we're not going to do anything." I recently left a relationship and I still don't feel sure to start anything with anyone.
-Do not worry. I understand that you are cautious and do not feel safe yet. For me the most important thing in my life is to enjoy my now, and I am sure that in part that is why you would have sensed that right now I would love to be much closer together, ”he jokes in his final argument. Without a table between us and with much more privacy. However, that doesn't mean I'm not having a great time. Come on, I don't regret it at all.
"Well, well, I just had to tell you," she whispers somewhat uncertainly.
"And I'm glad you told me." I have also been through ruptures and the truth is that it is not the most pleasant thing in the world. Sometimes it is hard to get over it. Anyway, for me there came a time when I thought: hey, that's fine. The past is gone and that does not have to condition my freedom. I will recover my life. I decided to open up to meet other people and since then, I am much happier and I have lost my fear that a future relationship may go wrong again. For me, life is an adventure that we should never close.
—The truth is that you do not lack reason. Perhaps he is living more in closed doors of the past than opening his eyes to new experiences. I like the way you see things.
4 Features of an assertive personality
With recent examples, let's now see what traits form an assertive personality:
- Observation, acceptance and understanding: Assertive people use the empathy to observe the details from the point of view of the people with whom they relate. This allows them to understand the needs of others. Which in turn gives you information to execute a more persuasive assertive communication.
- High self-esteem and pride control: Before a loving rejection, as the example of the quotation, an assertive personality does not get nervous. He relies on his abilities and his own appeal to resolve situations of rejection and achieve his goals. In turn, he does not jump to defend his pride by provoking battles of egos. Your main concern is the end result. Your pride, achieve your communication goals.
- Management of own and other people's emotions: An assertive personality knows how to use humor to lower tension, apologize when things get ugly, show understanding when the other person expects a bad reaction, or even motivate when everything seems lost. Making great use of emotional intelligence to manage emotions as it suits you, both yours and those of others.
- It generates positive emotions: For both himself and others, he is committed to using the seduction. Use praise, make others feel good and facilitate interpersonal communications creating a good atmosphere.
Aggressive communication, whether consciously or unconsciously, tends to critically and negatively judge the actions of other people, or to sin of being too authoritarian. In turn, it is usually accompanied by a high tone of voice and non-verbal language that is too firm or even threatening. Insults also enter into this communication.
Is it convenient then never to communicate aggressively? Unfortunately, the truth is that no.
Assertive communication is the pillar of correct communication, but it does not always work. Given a certain type of people and contexts, imposing a certain degree of authority and firmness is sometimes essential. Especially while maintaining education while exercising authority, usually exercised by educators and team managers or bosses when being assertive does not work as it should.
Examples of aggressive communication
"Son, I've told you a thousand times to order the room!" You already have me until the eggs. The next time I go up and see this, you stay a week without stepping on the home portal. Let's see if with punishment you listen to me.
"And I'm afraid you come into my room screaming like crazy." Now, pampering, I was going to order it, but of course I feel like it. Let's see if you relax someday!
Sneak into the supermarket queue
"Sorry, but I often die that you have." You have seen that I was in front and it has given you exactly the same. Go jeta!
"Go jeta?" Sorry but if I sneaked in, I didn't realize. Let's see if we are a little more educated. As far as I know, I went before you.
New employee in the office
"Daniel, I don't know how you worked in your previous company, but this report is crap." Before I leave I want you to fix it or else we will have a problem you and me.
"Okay, I'll check it right now."
When his boss leaves, the employee keeps thinking: What an asshole, he will ask me for some favor now. Then the one that I'm going to send to hell is going to be me.
Keys to aggressive communication
It is not necessary to be Miguel Angel Buonarroti to realize that when we attack someone, we get a defense in response.
In the messy room, the son is infected by aggressive communication of his mother and responds judging precisely his lack of assertiveness. Judging also her absence of relaxation and making her look like crazy.
Emotions are spread, if you speak with nerves raised in tone, it is normal for the recipient to answer the same even if he does not want to.
In the supermarket queue, despite having to lie in the event that if he has noticed, we get a defense again. In addition to insults for lack of assertiveness (see if we are more educated). Without having the absolute truth that it has sneaked in, it is more efficient to talk to him assuming he has not realized it even if we don't believe it.
As for the new employee, the boss exerts a level of authority and improper contempt towards someone who is adapting to a new job. However, he is the boss and unless he wants to risk losing his job, the employee acts passively. Of course, in appearance. Mentally he begins to despise his new boss, which surely can also affect his productivity and involvement in his position. He holds a grudge and his defense is postponed.
Disadvantages of aggressive communication
- It can make us feel bad about ourselves: When we attack someone, even if he does not defend himself or we are victorious, we are feeding our anger. We can even feel guilty because of the regrets of making another person feel bad.
- Make the other person feel bad: This can feel weak, lack of self-esteem, feel anxiety, frustration, discouragement etc. Aggressive communication generates confrontations and any battle wears out both sides.
- Generate power struggles and revenge: He who is employed today may tomorrow be promoted above his superior or speak ill of this to those who are above him. Revenge can always arise. How we treat other people today will materialize in the treatment we receive in an uncertain future. Never feel untouchable or superior and always treat everyone with respect. They are all advantages!
Use authority and aggressiveness when assertiveness does not work
- If we have told our son to order the room assertively many times and there is no way to do it, using authority may be the solution. All life there have been punishments and many times they have been useful. Although of course, each case is a world. The same happens in the workplace. It is very difficult to be a boss because often despite trying to be assertive, when employees do not perform efficiently no matter how hard they try to communicate assertively, again imposing authority is necessary.
- On the other hand, aggressiveness will always be more justified when we have tried to be assertive on several occasions. The others can empathize more with us and understand that we are aggressive if they end up seeing that they were not right and before we were assertive but they ignored us.
Passive communication is the one that avoids confrontation even though we have to put aside our own interests and rights.
In the previous examples we have seen the case of the employee who answered with passive communication. In the example of the supermarket queue, not saying anything and letting it slip would be another example of passive communication. And in the case of the messy room, more of the same. The mother would have shut up and kept her discontent.
The worst thing about this type of communication is that usually fuels repression and resentment.
Imagine being treated aggressively for a while and we let it pass. We do not try to talk with the other person to speak with assertiveness, but simply endure and endure. What do you think will happen in the end? Well, if you are a normal human being on planet Earth, the normal thing will be that when the glass is already overflowing, you end up exploding. As my mother says ... losing the trailer. So that is a problem, because when the human being loses his nerves he is able to do horrible things.
If your goal is to be more assertive, passive communication will rarely interest you. Although careful, because there are times that it is also useful.
Examples of passive communication
An aggressive drug addict in the disco
"Hey man, were you looking at my girlfriend?" Eehhhh Ehhh. Douchebag!
The other boy realizes that if he doesn't answer and passes by that uncle won't chase him. Therefore, choose to avoid a confrontation that would bring absolutely nothing positive and many possible negative repercussions.
The boss has a bad day
–You have to go faster! He is piling up a lot of work. It's all crap. Today nobody goes home until we finish. Always everything for the last moment. What a bunch of lobsters!
–Don't worry Antonio, we will all stay until the time it takes. We are going to squeeze butt that surely gives us time. Together we take this forward.
Employees see that the boss is losing their nerves and shapes due to stress and they are empathetic. Keep calm and you act as a spokesperson encouraging the group. This would be a passive-assertive response.
I want to go to the cinema
"I want to go to the movies this weekend." I'm tired of always staying at home. You never want to do anything!
"If my wife wants to go to the movies, let's go to the movies." What movie do you want to watch?
Usefulness of passive communication
In the case of the drug addict, you will be with me that it is not worth answering. Being assertive in such a case would not work either. The other person is loaded with anger and just looks for a fight. Being passive here is the best solution, because we avoid putting our physical integrity at risk for anything. That guy doesn't deserve our attention.
In the case of the boss with a bad day, probably after the positive and empathetic response of the employees, the boss realizes that he has not acted well. You will probably feel bad later for losing the forms and value the understanding and reaction of your team. That guilt can lead you to reward them in the future or apologize. However, defending ourselves even if it is assertive at that moment where the boss is upset may mean a greater waste of time for him, which will lead him to become more frustrated and more nervous. In any case, we could talk assertively with him in the future to try to ensure that this situation of disrespect does not occur again.
Regarding the cinema, let's imagine that the husband does not care exactly to go to the cinema than to go to the space shuttle Discovery. Come on, he doesn't care about everything. Or almost everything. You may have a preference to stay at home or go to dinner, or do something else. But interest in other plans is so minimal, that he directly does what his wife asks him and saves discussing.
Why in the long term it is not profitable
Passive communication, although it is useful at specific times, in the long term it may not be profitable:
- We plant the seeds of submission. An attitude with which we can end up being slaves and followers of others by renouncing our own opinions and interests.
- Although it avoids confrontation, it does not provide solutions to problems. Present problems are solved by talking. Negotiating so that in the future they will not occur again. If we are passive, we are being especially selfish, because we are not helping the other person to improve or see their defects. We are not betting on fixing things, but we always leave them damaged.
- As I said previously, it generates resentment and frustration if we keep everything that bothers us without reacting to it. In the end, we can end up exploding and spoiling something that could have been solved much earlier with assertive communication.
Article based on the book:
Wake up beauty
Every day we make a decision that is vital. A decision that marks the path of our dreams and how we feel during the hard journey that leads us to them. And it doesn't matter if our aspirations are big or small. We may simply wish to lead a quiet life. Our dream may be as simple as being happy with ourselves and ours. But this decision is equally crucial regardless of our ambitions. The decision is how we communicate with the world and what we generate in it with our gestures and words. There is no more important, because it starts with ourselves.