Assertive Communication (3 point guide+ PDF)

The present blogspot will be based on the question :what is assertive communication?. It will define assertive communication, describe its prominent features and characteristics, describe the advantages of using assertive communication and give examples from daily life. It will also compare assertive communication to passive communication and aggressive communication.

What is Assertive communication?

Assertive communication is a style of communication that is based on expressing your thoughts, feelings and opinions in ways that are firm and unambiguous. The clear and firm expression of your needs through assertive communication does not let down the needs, opinions and feelings of the people around you.

Assertive communication

The assertive communication style comes between the two extremes of passive and aggressive style. The assertive communication style suggests that a person should neither be too submissive to disregard one’s own needs and nor be too aggressive to humiliate others for the fulfillment of one’s own needs.

Assertive communication is based on fulfilment of one’s own rights through appropriate means that do not humiliate or violate the rights of other people. Assertiveness in an individual is a personality trait that demands the expression of thoughts and feelings through appropriate, honest and direct ways while respecting other’s concerns and feelings. An individual under assertive communication has equal regard for the rights of self and others.

Assertiveness does not guarantee that you will get your demand or need fulfilled as soon as you convey it to the other person. However, messages conveyed through assertive style of communication are better understood by the people and there is a higher chance that the listener will comprehend the communicated message with a greater receptivity. Thus assertive style of communication  guarantees effective communication.

Assertiveness requires that a person :

  • Has the ability to say no when he doesn’t want to do a certain work
  • Has respect for the self and dignity for the self
  • Is able to express his/her feelings without putting down the feelings of other people around
  • Is able to resolve conflicts functionally
  • Is able to adapt to the situation as per the need of the hour.
  • Is receptive to other people’s concerns and opinions
  • Is able to negotiate for reaching a compromising situation.
  • Makes mistakes, accept them  and learn from them 
  • Has a high self-esteem and self worth
  • Values moral and social responsibilities

The barriers to Assertive communication

Following are the barriers to assertive communication that prevent an individual from being assertive :

  • A feeling of fear for the outcomes of being assertive
  • An inner insecurity of what others might think about you
  • An inability to express oneself appropriately
  • A lack of surety that the people around would change as a result of assertive communication
  • A negative association related to limit setting and dealing within the personal and professional boundaries
  • An insecurity one might not be granted what is needed through assertive style of communication so using aggressive communication style seems better
  • A belief that letting others overpower you and humiliate you is a good thing as that prevents you from getting into the limelight and the workplace politics.
  • Conveying your own feelings in ways that sound apologetic and letting others take maximum benefit from you while violating your rights.
  • Resisting other  people’s concerns and feelings indirectly through passive aggression without letting them identify it.

The key features of assertive communication

Following are the key features of assertive communication:

  • Use “I” statements more so the other people feel less threatened and are more receptive.
  • Non-verbal communication plays a vital role in assertive communication.
  • Maintain a firm body posture.
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Have a firm gait.
  • Keep a pleasant smile on your face occasionally.
  • Look the concerned individual in the eyes while speaking and not speaking.
  • While sitting n a meeting or presentation, sit up straight
  • Have a firm tone of voice that clearly communicates your message to the listener
  • The voice should be steady and calm in the assertive style of communication
  • Express your feelings appropriately with a single word like i feel happy, sad , tired , insecure etc.
  • Avoid giving mixed messages during communication.

Assertive communication vs Passive communication

The assertive communication style is far different from the passive communication style in the following ways:

  • The passive style of communication disregards one’s own rights while fulfilling the rights of the others whereas the assertive style of communication regards the rights of self and others without letting down anyone.
  • The passive communication style does not allow direct expression of your thoughts and feelings whereas the assertive style of communication allows direct expression of thoughts and feelings with clarity.
  • The passive communication style is not appropriate for fulfilling one’s needs.whereas the assertive style of communication is the most effective communication style to convey your needs to the people around them.
  • The passive communication style demands humiliation of your own feelings and thoughts while others take advantage of your situation whereas the assertive style of communication does not humiliate others for one’s own needs and rights.
  • It is very difficult for a person with passive style of communication to say no to the other person while they don’t feel like doing someone a favour, whereas it is easy for people with assertive style of communication to say no when they don’t feel like granting someone a favour.

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Assertive communication vs Aggressive communication

Following are the differences between assertive communication and aggressive communication:

  • Aggressive communication demands being loud and aggressive whereas assertive communication uses a clear and firm tone of voice.
  • Aggressive communication involves putting down other people to fulfill one’s own needs whereas assertive communication involves fulfilling one’s own needs while respecting the needs of others.
  • Aggressive communication is based on humiliating and threatening other people’s existence whereas assertive communication demands safeguarding and respecting other people’s existence.
  • Aggressive communication often results in conflicts whereas assertive communication often resolves conflicts.
  • Aggressive communication demands overpowering other people whereas assertive communication demands considering other people on the same level as yourself.

Advantages of Assertive Communication

The advantages of assertive communication are:

  • A person using assertive communication is able to tell the other person about what they think of them without accusing them
  • A person using assertive communication style conveys how they feel to the other person without making them feel blamed
  • A person under assertive communication able to tell the other person what change is required to overcome the barriers to a healthy relationship
  • A person using assertive style of communication is better able to voice out what they feel like doing instead of what is being imposed upon them
  • A person with an assertive style of communication takes a more positive approach to life.
  • Assertive communication helps individuals to feel good about themselves and the people around them.
  • Assertive communication makes it easy for individuals to live their life according to their life goals.
  • Assertive communication strengthens our decision making skills and interpersonal skills.

Examples of Assertive communication in daily life

Following are some of the examples of assertiveness in daily life:

  • I feel irritated when you leave your clothes on the floor every morning while leaving for the office. I would like you to put them in the laundry basket.
  • I feel anxious when you come late from the gym without informing me. I would like you to inform me if you are getting late for home due to any reason.
  • I feel angry when you don’t listen to me while going for groceries and return with items missing from the monthly grocery list.
  • I get upset when you shout at kids after returning from office to displace your anger on them.

Conclusion

The present blogspot highlighted assertiveness as an effective communication style. It highlighted the various aspects and key features of assertive communication style. It also discussed the various barriers that are a roadblock to effective assertive communication.we learned the differences between the assertive and passive communication style and assertive and aggressive communication style. We also came to know the advantages of assertive communication compared to other two styles of communication.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) : Assertive Communication

What are the three c’s of assertive communication?

The three c’s of assertive communication are :

  • Assertive communication is clear
  • Assertive communication is controlled
  • Assertive communication is carried out with confidence

What is an example of assertiveness?

Daily life examples of assertiveness include:

  • I feel angry when you don’t listen to me and keep watching television. I would like you to follow your schedule in quarantine.
  • I feel irritated when you leave dirty utensils on your bed after having dinner in your room. I would like you to place them in the kitchen once you have finished eating.
  • I get upset when you don’t take care of your pet. I would like you to take care of their feed schedule if you want to keep them or let someone else adopt them.

What is assertive behavior?

Assertive behavior means being true about your views, feelings and opinion  being true and honest about them. 

Citations

https://healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Assertive-communication#:~:text=Assertiveness%20means%20expressing%20your%20point,minimise%20conflict

https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/assertive.html

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/assertive/art-20044644

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