Assertiveness

From Academic Kids

Assertiveness is a skill taught by many personal development experts and psychotherapists and the subject of many popular self-help books. It is linked to self-esteem and considered an important communication skill.

As a communication style and strategy, Assertiveness is distinguished from Aggression and Passivity. How people deal with personal boundaries; their own and those of other people, helps to distinguish between these three concepts. Passive communicators do not defend their own personal boundaries and thus allow aggressive people to harm or otherwise unduly influence them. They are also typically not likely to risk trying to influence anyone else. Aggressive people do not respect the personal boundaries of others and thus are liable to harm others while trying to influence them. A person communicates assertively by not being afraid to speak his or her mind or trying to influence others, but doing so in a way that respects the personal boundaries of others. They are also willing to defend themselves against aggressive incursions.

Techniques

Perhaps the most popular technique advocated by assertiveness experts is the Broken record technique. This consists of simply repeating your requests every time you are met with illegitimite resistance. The term comes from vinyl records, the surface of which when scratched would lead the needle of a record player to loop over the same few seconds of the recording indefinitely.

Another technique some suggest is called Fogging, which consists of finding some, limited truth to agree with in what an antagonist is saying. More specifically, one can agree in part or agree in principle.

Negative inquiry consists of requesting further, more specific criticism. Negative assertion, on the other hand, is agreement with criticism without letting up demand.

References

  • Smith, M. J. (1975). When I say no, I feel guilty. New York: Bantam Books.
  • Bower, S. A. & Bower, G. H. (1991). Asserting Yourself: A Practical Guide for Positive Change. 2nd ed. Reading, MA: Addison Wesley

External links

sk:Asertivita

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