Assertive Communication

When facing conflicts with others, assertive communication may help you reach a better resolution.

Better Than Passive or Aggressive Communication

Rather than being passive, self assertiveness, if used ethically, can bring about a mutually acceptable resolution. Self assertiveness and self esteem along with using assertiveness in communication works. To make it work, it is necessary to learn and master it.

Another way to use this skill is called being quietly assertive. More on this below.

Handling conflicts and criticism with others by being self assertive rather than being passive, if used ethically, can result in a mutually acceptable resolution. Self assertiveness involves self esteem along with using assertiveness in your communication.

Numerous problems can be resolved simply by using assertive communication.

Developing positive assertiveness is the key to successful communication.

Assertiveness communication is a process that could be distilled to a simple formula.

  • Identify the problem, issue or concern
  • identify the emotions of the others
  • Consider exactly what your feelings are and express them
  • Identify what you need to resolve the conflict

Next, start putting assertive communication into practice.

How to Start Using Assertiveness Communication

Start using assertiveness in your communication with a supportive friend or family member. Practice combining the use of assertive listening with communication that is more assertive than you normally would.

As you become comfortable with using the assertiveness, then start using it on more emotionally challenging situations.

Receiving Assertive Communication

When receiving communication, do not take it as rejection or judgment.

Use care not to minimize, justify or shift blame. Rather, use the assertive communication as a chance to grow. Use the criticism as opportunity for self improvement.

Even I the criticisms not constructive but is accurate, acknowledge that the critic is correct. This is actually a form of assertive behavior. When admitting a mistake to someone who is needlessly reminding you, it takes all the wind out of the sails of the accuser.

Assertiveness With Non-constructive Manipulative Criticism

Sometimes non-constructive manipulative criticism will have a grain of truth. The problem is that the grain is only a small part of a whole. Don’t take it as anything more than what it is.

Follow these steps…...

Listen Assertively

Agree in Part


Agree in Probability


Agree in Principle

If you cannot tell if the criticism is constructive or manipulative, then use...


Using Assertiveness
Agree in Part

As you are assertively listening, identify the part of what is being said that you agree with.

Modify any exaggerations. Words like never and always can be changed to... a lot, at times, right now, some times.

Agreeing in Probability

Using expressions like It may be… or You could be that, or you could be right.

This agrees with your critic that there is a remote possibility that the complaint is true. Even in it happens in another life time in a parallel universe with someone who is your double.

This is a way of taking the power out of what is being said.

Agreeing in Principle

This involves agreeing with the logic of your your critic. Your agreement with the logic does not mean you are necessarily agreeing with the premise.

You can agree that if A is true B is true but you do not have to agree that A is true.

Here is an example: "You always leaver the room a mess. You never pick up after yourself, you don’t love me."

Aside from the emotional guilt trip this is trying to lay on the listener, there is an obvious flaw in the logic. How would you reply while agreeing in principle?

Here is one reply: "Yes it is true that someone who would purposefully ruin something of another to hurt them could be an indication of a lack of love. My getting lax was not intended to hurt you. I do care for you deeply."

Note that this took the argument off the topic of the mess and placed it on the accusation of the lack of love.

A better way for the critic to have introduced the problem would have been to use the Three Step Communication Resolution of the “When You - I Feel - I Need” trio.

Start to use these when you are in conversations with friends. When you hear others use logical fallacies, begin to mentally use these different ways of responding. Gear your mind up to think and act, rather than react in either a passive or aggressive manor.

Being Quietly Assertive

Often when we think of assertive people, we think of in your face, close and loud talking people. Try using the above principles only speaking very softly and gently. Do not give or cave in when opposition presents as a response. Simply be calm, collective and repeat your assertiveness.

What is Assertive Listening?

Assertive Communication

What is Communication? The Assertive Communication Resource

Lets Connect View Jonathan Steele RN Holistic Nurse's profile on LinkedIn
Lets Connect View Jonathan Steele RN Holistic Nurse's profile on LinkedIn
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