Communicating assertively, rather than being aggressive & not taking other's opinions & needs into consideration, is the best way to honor your needs, be respectful of others & have good experiences communicating with others without being selfish.
- I recently had a discussion with my therapist about how my view of aggressive communication isn’t as aggressive as I thought. And I think the reason I thought it was aggressive is because people made me believe it was. And this could of been for many reasons, like intimidation, jealousy or just desiring to put you down, it doesn’t really matter why, but just the fact that it happened.
- So it was nice for me to realize I was just being the assertive person I had always wanted to be. But then I wanted to understand more about how I can be the best assertive communicator I could be and not drift into aggressiveness too much or at all, if I could help it. This means I would need to understand the differences between both.
- But let’s start with assertive communication first. Being assertive is about being up front with what you want, while also still considering what the other people want. I see it as being respectful to everyone all the way around.
- But it’s important to know that your needs & feelings & wants are just as important as anyone else’s & that’s a fact! You can’t let someone that might be upset with you deciding to be assertive make you feel responsible for them being upset about that, either. There are going to be people that aren’t going to be happy with you honoring yourself & being assertive because it means they can’t take advantage of you or make you look bad by pushing you to be aggressive about your needs.
- But it’s so important to be assertive, to ask for what you want & to expect it. There is no reason you shouldn’t have the ability to have or ask for something someone else has. You may not get it, but this shouldn’t stop you from asking & believing.
- Now, about aggressive communication. Aggressive communication is expressing your emotions & opinion & needs in a way that violates other people’s needs. This will include domineering, condescending & sarcastic behavior. Aggressive communication can be exhausting & overwhelming to others experiencing it from a receivers side. And this type of communication can be seen as a leadership or commanding quality, but it’s not ideal.
- So let’s chat about how to be assertive, rather than aggressive in our communication to others.
- Choose to compromise rather than make a decision that only benefits you.
- Take turns listening & speaking with others rather than speaking over them.
- Try to make things as fair as possible between you & others, rather than only looking out for yourself.
- Express your opinion clearly & confidently, as opposed to yelling, aggression, threats or violence.
- Be up front about your needs rather than expect others to guess or know what you need.
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