When there is stress or tension in a relationship, most of us resort to a habitual communication style that tends to be either passive or aggressive - which of these do you tend to be? Passive and aggressive communication look different on the surface, but are both ways we react from a child ego state, rather than our adult self. This leads us to either (a) blame ourself by judging, criticizing or doubting ourself or (b) blame, judge or criticize the other person. A different way to look at it is that negative feelings - such as anger, fear, jealousy or hurt – are not about who is right or wrong, but tell us something about ourselves and our own needs, wants and values.
If you scored more odd numbers, you tend to be passive in your communication, while if you scored more even numbers, you tend to be more aggressive in your communication. What we are trying to do when we communicate passively is to avoid confrontation or conflict, or even displeasing others.
When we communicate aggressively, by contrast, we attempt to express our true feelings but can end up in ineffective fighting, venting and lashing out at others. Learning to deal with negative feelings in relationship neither passively nor aggressively, but instead more assertively, is a skill that takes practice. In this way, learning to be assertive goes hand in hand with developing a clearer sense of who you are and what matters to you.

The Technique is a practical skill that will help you to learn to STOP in your everyday life. Assertiveness is a skill designed to help you embrace and express who you are without being destructive to others.
But even then, when we are clear about how we feel and where we stand, expressing our feelings in a constructive way can be very challenging.
For example, we can be assertive or aggressive at work, but avoid any conflict in personal relationships. In situations that might evoke anger or some other response, we stay silent, or become tearful, self-critical, hurt or guilty.
We may fear that too much clarity or self-assertion could make others uncomfortable and expose differences between us.
A part of us feels that others are to blame for our feelings, but when we express ourselves from this perspective, others hear criticism and invest their energy in self-defense of counter-attack.
Through aggressive communication we may get us some of the things we want in life, our hurt feelings beneath the surface often remain unseen and unattended to.
The first step in becoming more assertive is learning to notice when you've been triggered and STOP - instead of reacting immediately, take a moment to reflect on what you're feeling and why.

Whether you choose then to address the problem directly with the other person involved or not, you will have gained something through the experience. Like meditation, the Technique quietens your nervous system so that you are less reactive to your thoughts, feelings and impulses. Even if the other person has done wrong, by consistently making them feel bad we damage the relationship – we may win the battle, but lose the war. And we may later have to deal with the fallout of harsh words and damage our relationships.
In a calmer state, you are able to choose how and when to respond, rather than simply reacting in a habitual way.

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Comments to «Assertive communication worksheets for adults»

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  3. Rocco_Barocco writes:
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