Assertive Behavior

1 January 2017

Many people think of someone adamantly standing their ground, pushing for his or her own way, refusing to give an inch. Others think of someone who is generally pleasant but stubborn on certain issues. Assertive behavior is a natural style that is nothing more than direct, honest and respectful while interacting with others. Assertiveness is the most desirable human behavior. It is the behavior required for “win-win” outcomes in negotiation, conflict resolution, family life and normal business dealings.

We humans use assertive and nonassertive behavior and aggressive behaviors. These styles create many problems in relationship, business dealings and social interactions. All of us use all three behavior styles through our lives. They are: ? Non-assertive ? Aggressive ? Assertive Non-assertive: Non-Assertive behavior is that type of interpersonal behavior, which enables the person’s rights to be violated by another. This can occur in two ways: first, you fail to assert yourself when another person deliberately attempts to infringe upon your rights.

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Second, the other person does not want to encroach upon your rights, but your failure to express your needs of feelings results in an inadvertent violation. A non-assertive person inhibits her/his honest, spontaneous reactions and typically feels hurt, anxious and sometimes angry as a result of being non-assertive in a situation. Often, this person relives the situation in their minds pretending how they would do things differently if it happened again. Aggressive Behavior: Aggressive behavior is that type of interpersonal behavior in which a person stands up for their own rights in such a way that the rights of others are also violated.

Aggressive behavior humiliates, dominates, or puts the person down rather than simply expressing one’s own emotions or thoughts. It is an attack on the person rather than on the person’s behavior. Aggressive behavior is quite frequently a hostile over-reaction or outburst, which results from past pent-up anger. Assertive behavior : Assertive behavior is that type of interpersonal behavior in which a person stands up for their legitimate rights in such a way that the rights of others are not violated. It communicates respect for that person’s behavior.

Eye contact:Looking directly at another person when you are speaking to them is one way of declaring that you’ re sincere about what you are saying, and that it is directed to them. Body Posture:the “weight” of your messages to others can increase if you face the person, stand or sit appropriately close to them, lean toward them, hold your head erect. Gestures:A message accented with appropriate gestures takes on an added emphasis (over-enthusiastic gesturing can be a distraction). Facial Ever see someone trying to express anger while smiling or laughing?

It just doesn’t’ come across. Effective Expressions:assertions require an expression that agrees with the message. Voice Tone,A whispered monotone will seldom convince another person that you mean business, while a shouted epithet Inflection,will bring their defenses into the path of communication. A level, well-modulated conversational statement is Volume:convincing without intimidating. Timing:Spontaneous expression will generally be your goal since hesitation may diminish the effect of an assertion. Judgment is necessary, however, to select an appropriate occasion.

For example, such as speaking to your boss in the privacy of the office, rather than in front of a group of subordinates, where the boss may need to respond defensively. Content:Content as a dimension of assertiveness is saved for last to emphasize that, although what we say is clearly important, it is often less important than most people generally believe. Fundamental honesty in interpersonal communication is encouraged. It is important to express your own feelings-and to accept responsibility for them.

It is not necessary to put the other person down in order to express yourself, honestly and spontaneously, in a manner that is right for you. Assertiveness and four types of communication: Those of us who grew up in dysfunctional families may have never learned to communicate effectively in relationships. We may be passive and not advocate for ourselves, aggressive and attempt to run roughshod over others, or passive-aggressive and smile while sabotaging others behind their backs. No wonder we have so many problematic relationships and feel so isolated!

In order to build healthy relationships, we must learn to be assertive – that is, to be clear, direct, and respectful in how we communicate. • Assertive Communication: The most effective and healthiest form of communication is the assertive style. It’s how we naturally express ourselves when our self-esteem is intact, giving us the confidence to communicate without games and manipulation. When we are being assertive, we work hard to create mutually satisfying solutions. We communicate our needs clearly and forthrightly. We care about the relationship and strive for a win/win situation.

We know our limits and refuse to be pushed beyond them just because someone else wants or needs something from us. Surprisingly, assertive is the style most people use least. • Aggressive Communication Aggressive communication always involves manipulation. We may attempt to make people do what we want by inducing guilt (hurt) or by using intimidation and control tactics (anger). Covert or overt, we simply want our needs met – and right now! Although there are a few arenas where aggressive behavior is called for (i. e. , sports or war), it will never work in a relationship.

Ironically, the more aggressive sports rely heavily on team members and rational coaching strategies. Even war might be avoided if we could learn to be more assertive and negotiate to solve our problems. • Passive Communication: Passive communication is based on compliance and hopes to avoid confrontation at all costs. In this mode we don’t talk much, question even less, and actually do very little. We just don’t want to rock the boat. Passives have learned that it is safer not to react and better to disappear than to stand up and be noticed. • Passive-Aggressive Communication

A combination of styles, passive-aggressive avoids direct confrontation (passive), but attempts to get even through manipulation (aggressive). If you’ve ever thought about making that certain someone who needs to be “taught a thing or two” suffer (even just a teeny bit), you’ve stepped pretty close to (if not on into) the devious and sneaky world of the passive-aggressive. This style of communication often leads to office politics and rumour-mongering. Four steps to assertive communication: There are four parts to effective assertive communication.

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