Monday, August 10, 2020

 The Art of Communication

Communication issues appears to be a re-occuring theme in just about every one I work with. Whether it is an individual, couple, or family. Good communication can make all the difference in sucessful relationships at home, with friends, or in the office. Communicating assertively means clearly and calmly expressing what you want without either being too passive or too aggressive. Learning to communicate assertively doesn’t guarantee you will have your needs met but it makes it more likely, and it can improve your relationships with other people.

Are you a Passive Communicator?

Do you think your needs don’t matter at all. Give in to others all the time. Do you often feel nervous or anxious when talking to others? You often hope no one asks for your opinion. You don't speak up even when you want to.  You let others shut you down when you do speak. You always trying to keep the peace. Do you feel bullied?  Do you find yourself not saying what you think, or not saying anything. Do you feel like you are getting ran over all the time or you are a door mat? .......Then you are likely a passive communicator.

Why can being Passive all the time create problems?

It can damages relationships. Often other people respect you less. It damages your self-esteem. 

Are you an Agressive Communicator?

Do you feel the need to always looking out for yourself? Do you tend to re-direct conversation back to yourself most of the time? Do you find yourself talking over people much the time? Do you tend to not listen to others or put yourself in their shoes? Do you think that your opinion is the only right one? Do you find yourself escalating (voice/emotions) while communicating?

 Why can being an Agressive Communicate create problems?

It is a form of taking from others. Thinking that only your needs matter. It potentially damages others self-esteem. It can damage relationships at home and work. People don’t like to be intimidated. It can lead to shouting, aggression or violence.It often is a form of bullying others.

Are you an Assertive Communicator?

Do you recognising that your needs matter as much as anyone elses?  Do you compromise by both talking and listening. Do you making sure things are fair - for you and others? Do you stand up for yourself when needed. Can you express your point clearly and confidently. 

Why is being an Assertive Communicator a positive and healthy way to communicate?

It enhances relationships. People know where they stand.  Builds your self-esteem. It build confidence. It provides direction, understanding, clarity. You feel heard and the person you are talking to feels heard. It prevents problems and can solve problems. It provides a means in which you can have a choice in a matter by having a voice. See diagram below. Next week, I will address how to assertively communicate in a manner anyone can feel comfortable with!! Don't miss it!! Dr. Becky Wolery