In the best of all possible words,relationships would be characterized by genuine respect, easy communication & sensitivity to others.Alas, such is not the case.Some individuals constantly push at others- asking,demanding,probing until they meet resistance.And some people fail to resist these probes; then they find rationalizations for always being victims.But people can change.They can learn to state your feelings and expectations in ways that protect your integrity and engender respect.
1.Don’t give the other person a ready-made excuse.
Example: “You’ve been getting to work late”.
When you provide an excuse, the other person gets the message that what has been done is correct. This sets the stage for continued abuse. Further, you are perceived as wishy-washy & unwilling to follow through.
2.Don’t apologize for making a reasonable demand. When an apology is made after the fact , it is usually the result of guilt or fear that has built up. To undo a forceful statement in this way causes loss of respect.
3.Don’t over-qualify your statement. A flat statement with a clear expectation for completing the report would prevent miscommunication and provide a better chance of getting the report on time.
4.Don’t shift responsibility for your action to others.
Examples: “The boss says that you should. . .” or “your mother said. . .” . These statements let the non assertive individual off the hook, but also place him in the role of messenger without any real authority.You will be perceived as much strong person if you make statements beginning with: ” I want you to . . .”.
As you eliminate bad habits of communication, start replacing them with more forceful ones.Here are eight techniques to try. Give yourself time, begin by integrating one or two into your relationships then move on to others. Remember, consistency and persistence count.
State your expectations clearly.Passive individuals often assume that others will know what is expected without being told. This leads to needless problems.
.THINK THINGS THROUGH
Conceptualize issues before stating them. By thinking things through before hand, you will be able to make a reasonable and rational case.
. CONFRONT PROBLEMS IMMEDIATELY
By avoiding problems you allow them to become more serious and more difficult to reverse. By confronting even minor ones early, you indicate your expectations from the beginning, and the other person knows exactly where you stand.
. CHOOSE YOUR ISSUES CAREFULLY
Frequently , newly assertive people over do it and confront too much. Often, they are shot down in flames. Through selectivity, you gain more control and more possibility of positive outcome.
. SEPARATE ANGER FROM ASSERTIVENESS
It is to be assertive only when driven by a full head of anger. If you can not assert yourself calmly, your responses will probably be too aggressive. Besides, when you are angry the other person is apt to become defensive. The real issue usually won’t get resolved.
. USE YOUR OWN TURF
Sports team more frequently win home games. It is hard to confront a colleague in that person’s office or home. Asserting yourself whenever possible on home ground will give you a subtle but powerful advantage.
. USE NON VERBAL CUES
Maintain eye contact while you talk. Instead of continually restating your case, use silence for reinforcement. Make appropriate (but not aggressive) gestures to underscore what you say.
. AVOID EMPTY THREATS
Even small children know when you’re bluffing. To establish your credibility, state reasonable expectations and consequences that will ensure if these are not met. Then follow through.
Respect is gained from others only when they are sure that you mean what you say.