Trans4mind Home Page
~ A Journey of Self-Discovery ~

Explore Article Library


4 Steps to Assertive Communication

By Dr. Tony Fiore

"Dr. Fiore, my 42 year old married patient (Mary) began, "once again my family expects me to host Christmas dinner and I am simply too exhausted; what should I do?

"Why not tell them how you feel? I asked.

"Because I don't want to hurt their feelings - I always feel guilty if I don't do what is expected of me."

Lack of communication such as this among family members is the root of much conflict, hurt and misunderstandings any time of the year, but especially during the often stressful holiday season.

Mary's dilemma is common: she wants to be a nice person and avoid conflict with family members. But, in doing so, she feels resentment and other negative emotions when she is overwhelmed or feels others are taking advantage of her.

Unfortunately, a failure to be direct and emotionally honest with people we love or care about can have long-reaching negative consequences. Failure to communicate often sends the wrong message about you, what you need and how others should respond to you.

The Elephant In The Room

When you have unexpressed feelings towards another, it's like you are sitting on a couch with an elephant between you.

Neither wants to acknowledge the elephant, but its existence acts as a barrier to real communication. Ultimately, the elephant gets in the way of positive feelings between you and the other person.

Assertive Communication

Assertive communication is the art of speaking in a reasonable tone with good eye contact. It's based on using "I messages (as opposed to "you or blaming messages) while clearly stating your needs, feelings and requests.

Assertive communications invite listeners to work toward mutually satisfactory resolution of problems or conflicts, without assigning blame or offense.

Assertive versus Offensive

Remember: you won't offend people if you stick to communicating your feelings, as opposed to telling others what they should - or should not - do!

Four Steps to Success

There are four parts to effective assertive communication - Here is the formula:

I feel ___________ when __________ because ________. I need ___________.

Step 1: "I feel Start by expressing how you feel about the behavior. Stick to one of the five or six basic emotions: "I feel overwhelmed, angry, hurt, etc.

Step 2: "When What specifically bothers you about the behavior or situation? Examples: "When the family expects me to do this every year, "When it is assumed I will do it, etc.

Step 3: "Because How does the behavior affect you? Examples: "I feel pressured to do something I really can't do this year, and "It makes me feel taken advantage of."

Step 4: "I need This is the tough part for people like Mary who feel guilty simply letting others (especially family members) know what their needs are. "I need has nothing to do with being selfish.

Instead, it means giving listeners a clear signal of what you want them to do differently, so they have an opportunity to change. Examples: "I need for the dinner to be rotated among the family." "If everyone will bring a dish, I'll cook the ham, and "I need my sisters to come early and help with the setup."

Applying the Formula

Does the formula always work? Of course not, but it works a high percentage of the time and it gives you a better tool to deal with situations than anger - which rarely achieves the desired results.

If it doesn't work at first, try different variations using your own words. And keep at it. People often don't immediately respond differently to your words because of previous established communication patterns.

Always make sure your tone conveys sincerity, clarity, genuineness and respect toward the other and his or her opinions.

About The Author
Dr. Tony Fiore is a So. California licensed psychologist, and anger management trainer. His company, The Anger Coach, provides anger and stress management programs, training and products to individuals, couples, and the workplace. Sign up for his free monthly newsletter "Taming The Anger Bee" at www.angercoach.com and receive two bonus reports.


AND EXPLORE...

Addictions
Astrology
Careers & Employment
Communication
Creativity
Dating
Depression
Diabetes
Diets
Divorce
Education
Environment
Ethics
Exercise
Family
Goal-Setting
Grief & Loss
Happiness
Health
Kids & Teens
Leadership
Love
Marriage
Meditation
Nutrition
Organizing
Parenting
Psychology
Public Speaking
Relationships
Schools
Self Help
Self Improvement & Motivation
Sexual Relations
Spirituality
Stress Management
Travel and Leisure
Women
Writing


From our extensive site, you'll find good info on many topics using this search:

Want to renew your life?

Our online, interactive video workshops present the most effective methods of holistic personal development...
Start off with a Free Life Assessment and a Free Consultation...
 

Have a question about Trans4mind Training?

Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Our Fees?
Email Peter Shepherd

Support your personal development with these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

This is our selection of favorites, but there's a session for every need! Choose from over 800 Hypnosis Downloads...
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...
 

Welcome to the New Wave in Meditation Technology

Click here to learn more about the iAwake Profound Meditation Program
The iAwake Profound Meditation Program
is a way of enhancing your meditation practice, making meditation not only easier and more enjoyable, but also more efficient and effective.
Profound Meditation provides the smoothest, deepest, richest, most profound meditation experience available anywhere...
Here is a link to a free 20-minute track from iAwake Technologies - a sample of the type of tools that will deepen your meditation immediately and help you quickly become a successful meditator. It's the opening track of iAwake's flagship product, the Profound Meditation Program, called the iAwake Experience...
Learn More and Download the iAwake Experience
We think you'll find this technology a tremendous aid on your transformative journey of becoming your best and most creative self - and you can get started today!
And here's a fantastic resource for self-education...

The World of Inspiration eLibrary

World of Inspiration
A treasure trove of personal development wisdom

Step inside. Just like a real library, there are thousands of quality eBooks presented on three "floors" and in different "rooms." To purchase your $15 Lifetime Membership to the World of Inspiration eLibrary, click the following button:

Payment is made through our secure transaction agent, PayPal.
The transaction is in the language and currency of your choice.
"I want to just say 'WOW!' This collection is probably the best money I ever spent! I've already received many times over in personal enrichment after just 9 days. I've had a past metaphysical background, but even newcomers to this material will really benefit. Thanks again." ~ J.S. (Pennsylvania, USA)
"The collection is everything which you promised. And more! A superb contribution to the good of the world. Many thanks indeed." ~ R.P. (Georgia, USA)
"Just a short note of thanks for the library. I've only had membership for several days now but I already feel this is perhaps the most interesting compilation I have yet seen. Worth far more than the price of admission. The browser linked structure works well and makes it easy to manage such a large storehouse of information. It is rarely that I find something I like as much as this or that I feel strongly enough to write a note like this." ~ P.W. (Minnesota, USA)
Copyright © 1997-2016 Trans4mind Ltd