At times, all of us use assertive, aggressive or passive communication.  Most of the time, assertive communication is best.  Assertive communication is characterized by using “I statements” instead of “you statements.”  Assertiveness means taking responsibility for your own feelings, and not blaming others.

Imagine a scenario where you’d like to request that the other person arrive on time for your meeting, and they have a history of being late.

An aggressive communicator would say, “You’d better be on time, or I’ll just leave.  I’m sick of waiting around for you.”
A passive communicator would probably not say anything, and would get angry when the other person arrived late again.
An assertive communicator would say, “I’ve noticed that you’ve been late quite a few times in the past.  I would like you to arrive promptly at 9:00, as I have only an hour to spend on our meeting.”

When you practice assertiveness, you will experience more effective and enjoyable communications.  It’s not necessary to do it perfectly all the time; just take each conversation one at a time and assertiveness will begin to come naturally to you.

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Wishing you the best always
Corinne McElroy


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