Assertiveness in Communication

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Assertiveness in Communication

Title of Paper
For more than two decades psychologists and mental health professionals have been aware of the importance of assertiveness skills. People who find it difficult to assert themselves or their rights and who routinely fit in with others are more vulnerable to depression and more likely to be taken advantage of. This is why assertiveness training is often included in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Teaching people assertiveness skills is a common route to building confidence. Why? Most tasks in life cannot be accomplished alone and require us to communicate and negotiate with others. This is exactly the type of skills that assertiveness training provides. By enhancing an individual’s communication skills, assertiveness training can increase the feeling of self-efficacy – the belief an individual has that they can reach their goal. In other words, learning to assert yourself can help self-belief and self-confidence. What is assertive behaviour?

If you asked people how they would define the word ‘assertive’, what would they say? ‘Getting what you want’ would more often than not come up as a response. There is little doubt that those who are assertive are more likely to get their needs met. The following is a definition of assertiveness which is much more suitable: Being assertive means clear, honest and direct communication of positive and negative thoughts, feelings and opinions while, at the same time, respecting the rights, opinions and feelings of the other person.

The seven fundamentals of assertive behaviour
1. Communicating when it is important to you/exercising choice  The definition we are using here is the emphasis on communication with others. Behaving assertively does not mean that we have to tell others endlessly how we feel or what we think. Sometimes this would be inappropriate or insensitive. Clearly people who are good communicators are able to...
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