One key component of any healthy relationship is communication. And it is important to not just communicate but to communicate effectively. One way to ensure this is done is to use assertive communication techniques.
Assertive communication occurs when an individual is able to state their own needs, wants, and feelings directly and confidently, while also considering and respecting the needs, wants and feelings of others.
Assertive communication stands in contrast to passive communication (which only takes into account the other person, often at the expense of oneself), aggressive communication (which only takes into account oneself, often at the expense of the other person), and passive-aggressive communication (a subtle blend of passive and aggressive communications styles that may manifest with behaviors such as sarcasm, the silent treatment, and eye-rolling).
Embrace the Power of Assertive Communication
Here are some steps to implement this practice:
- Be honest with yourself about what’s good and healthy for you.
- Get clear on your boundaries and respect them.
- Try to understand the other person’s point of view, needs, and perspective.
- Practice what you want to say and how you want to say it.
Assertive communication may seem difficult or intimidating. It does require some work, but with time, practice, and intention, it can work to help you secure and establish healthy relationships.
By Mary Jackson, LPC