Assertiveness

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Assertiveness (or assertive behavior) is the ability to express one’s feelings, opinions, beliefs and needs directly, openly and honestly, assert one’s rights whilst respecting the feelings and rights of another (Lloyd, 1998). Assertiveness is a form of communication in which needs or wishes are stated clearly with respect for oneself and the other person in the interaction. Assertive communication is distinguished from passive communication (in which needs or wishes go unstated) and aggressive communication (in which needs or wishes are stated in a hostile or demanding manner). four types of assertive behavior.

1. Basic Assertiveness
Assertiveness can be an expression of a client’s basic beliefs, feelings, or opinions. For example, “I am feeling confused”. (Bower & Bower, 1991) 2. Empathic Assertiveness
This type of assertiveness involves recognizing the other person’s situation or feelings, followed by stating own feelings or rights. For example, “I can see you find this situation frustrating. I have also been getting a little frustrated by the whole thing”. (Bower & Bower, 1991) 3. Escalating Assertiveness

When the other person fails to respond to a basic assertion and continues to violate ones rights, the client may gradually escalate the assertion to become increasingly firm. For example, “If you can’t complete the work on my car by 5:00 tomorrow, I’ll be forced to contact the MTAQ” (Bower & Bower, 1991). 4. I-language Assertiveness

I-language is especially useful for expressing negative feelings. It involves a 3-part statement: When you do… (describe the behavior). The effects are… (describe how the behavior concretely affects the client). I’d prefer… (describe what the client wants). The real focus in I-Language Assertion is on the “I feel”, “I want” part of the statement. When expressing anger, often the tendency is to blame the other person, fly-off-the-handle and get caught up in the emotion. Example: “When you didn’t cook dinner as you said you...
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