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assertiveness

assertiveness

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Published by: veerabalaji on Jun 17, 2009
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1
5 Qualities and Actions of Assertiveness
1.RESPECT FOR OTHERS AND SELFRespect—Not Deference
Respect is honoring basic human rights.Deference is the unquestioning approval of what others think or doregardless of knowledge/experience
simply 
on the basis of being older,more powerful, or richer.
Self-Respect and Self-Caring
Set limits on what you are willing to do for others.
Evaluate situations to distinguish imaginary fears from thegenuine possible consequences and deal realistically withalternatives instead of getting overwhelmed by them.
Be realistic about what you can accomplish.
Don’t let yourself get so outraged that you hurt others andconsequently disappoint yourself.
Allow yourself to feel good about small gains in skills.
Forgive yourself for reverting back to more familiar nonassertiveor aggressive behavior.
5 Qualities and Actions of Assertiveness
The Balancing Act: Respecting Self and Others
Example: Dissatisfied with the paint job on the garageAssertive Example:
“There are parts of the garage door that are still rough—I’d likethose sanded down more before you put the primer on.”
Shows respect for yourself and respectful correcting the painter’sright to be corrected without being put down.Aggressive Example:
“You’ve done a sloppy job of sanding the door. I’m paying you goodwages, and I expect good work. Do it right for a change.”
Implies that the painter is lazy and dumb. Even if this appearsincompetent by your standards, that’s not really relevant. What isrelevant is that you are dissatisfied with the work and want it redone.It also shows no respect for the other person (the painter).Nonassertive Example:
Keeping silent about your dissatisfaction, or 
“I know you know your trade a lot better than I do. But these spotsover there—aren’t they kind of rough?”
Shows no respect for yourself.
5 Qualities and Actions of Assertiveness
2.
DIRECTNESS
Communicate feelings, beliefs, and needs directly.
Hinting is indirect and nonassertive.
I.e. yawning when friends stay longer than you want.
When people don’t take our hints, we usually get angry.
I.e. “Why should I have to tell him to take out the garbage; heshould know!”or 
“Why should I have to tell her what I want; if she really caredabout me she’d know and do it without my asking!”
This is expecting others to mindreadand gives the other personall the decision-making power. Others often don’t know what wewant because we haven’t asked for it.
Aggressiveness can be indirect because it often does not clearlycommunicate what someone is upset about or wants. Themessage the receiver often gets is not the one that the aggressiveperson is trying to send. The receiver often gets stuck on thismessage and then never figures out what the aggressor wants.
5 Qualities and Actions of Assertiveness
3.
HONESTYAssertive Honesty
Expressing yourself in ways that accurately represent your feelings, opinions, or preferences without putting down yourself or others in the process. It is not saying everything.
Nonassertive Honesty
Expressing yourself by cutting yourself down.
I.e. Job applicant when asked why they applied for the job, said,“This is the only job I heard about, so I applied.”
Nonassertive Dishonesty
Lying.
I.e. Saying you don’t mind chatting when really you’re tired.
Aggressive Honesty
Saying what you think without considering the effect.
I.e. “If I was as fat as you, I’d go on a diet.”
Aggressive Dishonesty
Using your anger to cover up less personally acceptablefeelings, such as hurt, worry, affection. This often happenswhen you are only aware of your immediate anger and not thesecondary feelings.
 
2
5 Qualities and Actions of Assertiveness
I guess that couch is nice, but I don’tthink that you really like it. So, let’s notget it. How could you possibly like thatcouch? You have absolutely no taste infurniture. You’d better leave all furnituredecisions to me.Emotionally DishonestAggressionI guess that couch is nice, but I don’tthink that you really like it. So, let’s notget it.Emotionally DishonestNonassertionI’m worried that with our different tastesin furniture, we’ll never be able to findanything we both agree on.Emotionally HonestAssertion
5 Qualities and Actions of Assertiveness
4.
APPROPRIATENESS
The context, whether assertive or otherwise, includes the:
Location—where
Usually private vs. public.
Timing—whenI.e. Not when the other person is absorbed in another activity(watchinga football game).
How much—take time for emotional discussionsI.e. Don’t start when on your way out the door.
As soon as possibleI.e. Tell the waiter immediately you’re in a hurry instead of waiting until halfway through the meal.
Consider 
your 
emotional stateI.e. Give yourself time to sort out your reactions.
5 Qualities and Actions of Assertiveness
4.
APPROPRIATENESS (continued)
The context, whether assertive or otherwise, includes the:
Intensity (firmness)
Become increasingly firm when others persistently ignore your assertions and violate your rights.
Frequency
Use repetition to emphasize a point, but don’t overuse.
I.e. Overuse of “I want”statements can give the impression of being only interested in what you want.
Nature of the relationship.
Don’t use the same statements with everyone.
I.e. You might say “no thanks,”with no explanation to a phonesolicitor, but not without an explanation with a co-worker asking youto cover their desk while they take a break, or to a friend who asksto get together.
5 Qualities and Actions of Assertiveness
5.
BODY LANGUAGE
It is not only what we say, but
how
we say it that affects how wecome across and how others react to what we say.
Body language is up to 80% of what we communicate.
Consider how saying “I don’t agree with you,”communicatesdifferent messages depending on body language.Body LanguageBody Language MessageFace flushed with anger,I don’t agree with you,shaking head disgustedly fromdummy. Push me and you’rein big side-to-side, contemptuous trouble.”tone of voice. (Aggressive)Even tone of voice, direct“I mean what I say, I don’t eyecontact, speech pattern isagree with you.expressive. (Assertive)Ingratiating tone of voice,“I don’t have any right to saythis. hand covering mouth, Disagree with me and I’ll feelaverted eyes. (Nonassertive)stupid and crumble.
 
3
Assessing Your Body Language--Awareness
 Assertive body language
is congruent with what is being saidverbally, adds strength and emphasis to what is being said, and isgenerally self-assured.
 Aggressive body language
conveys an exaggerated sense of self-importance, overbearing, strength, and/or an air of superiority.
Nonassertive body language
conveys weakness, anxiety, andlack of self-confidence. It softens the impact of what is being saidverbally to the point that the verbal message loses most of itspower. This is particularly true when the person’s verbal messageand body language are in conflict with each other.
For example, laughing when saying, “I’m really angry withyou.”In general, when there is such a discrepancy between averbal message and a body language message, the bodylanguage message is taken more seriously.
Use the following system to check your body language:
OK = Satisfactory level
S = Some improvement needed
L = Lots of improvement needed
5 Qualities and Actions of Assertiveness
Blinking rapidlyStaring off intodistance with boredexpressionOpen, frank, relaxedLooking away/downLooking down noseComfortably direct
NonassertiveAggressiveAssertiveEye Contact
5 Qualities and Actions of Assertiveness
Tensing and wrinklingforeheadSmiling, laughing, or winking whenexpressing irritationFlaring nostrilsBiting or wetting lipsJutting jawSwallowing or clearingthroatPursed, tight-lippedmouthConstant smilingClenching teethOpen, frank, relaxed
NonassertiveAggressiveAssertiveFacial Expression
5 Qualities and Actions of Assertiveness
Overly slowMumbledDeadly quietAppropriately warmWhineyOverly loud or stridentExpressive,emphasizing keywordsMonotoneSarcastic or condescendingClear Overly softOverly rapidAppropriately firm
NonassertiveAggressiveAssertiveVoice/SpeechExpression

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