Assertion is a style of communication that is intended to allow for effective and respectful expression of feelings and thoughts. Assertion is also used to assist a person in standing up for their legitimate rights without violating the rights of others. Assertion training is a skills-based training that incorporates both verbal and non-verbal communication training. This style is a preferred alternative to other forms of communication such as passive, aggressive, and passive-aggressive styles.
A passive style typically involves: the absence of direct communication, subordination of needs to others, excessive listening, difficulty in making requests, difficulty in setting limits or saying “no”, hesitation, and lack of confidence in body language. An aggressive style involves direct communication but at the expense of others. Aggressive behaviours may involve: sarcasm, put-downs of others, attacking language, abruptness, and body language that conveys intimidation to others. As the name suggests, the passive-aggressive style combines both elements. In this style, aggression is often expressed in a disguised form so that the person can avoid taking responsibility for his/her anger.
At Chrysalis, our therapists can provide assertion training to help you communicate more effectively, and set limits if needed, in various situations.
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