Do you want to be heard?
Being able to communicate effectively is vital with friends and family.
At times, communicating can seem so difficult.
Verbalizing what you need, expressing your feelings and emotions, or being able to say "no" are all important means of communication that can be difficult to overcome without proper communication skills.
We have all experienced when we were invited to a particular event that we didn't want to attend. So we find ourselves trying to come up with an excuse or force ourselves to be miserable and go. With practical communication skills, you can confidently turn down the invitation and focus on your specific needs without the pressure of others.
At times, we can find it difficult to communicate due to simply being unsure whether we will hurt the other individual's feelings. Aggressive communication is the main way in which it can be hurtful toward another individual. Aggressively communicating can often occur when we are unsure of how to confidently express our feelings and emotions or are frustrated with ourselves or another individual. Aggressively communicating, according to Princeton University, is defined as meaning, expressing your feelings and opinions in a manner that violates the rights of others, Being physically or verbally abusive.
One way that we can focus on communicating our needs without being hurtful or aggressive towards another individual is by being assertive. Being assertive, according to positive psychology, is defined as a communication style in which a person stands up for their own needs and wants while also considering the needs and wants of others without behaving passively or aggressively.
Tips for Assertively Communicating
Make eye contact: Making eye contact can assist with confidence and being able to express needs clearly and wants believably to the listener.
Stand up straight: Confident body language is also helpful with assertive communication.
Practice active listening: Listen, notice, and focus on empathizing and understanding the speaker.
Clearly state your needs and wants: Be confident in sharing how you truly feel and what it is that you need to avoid confusion and misunderstandings.
Self-soothe before expressing thoughts and feelings: Calmly expressing thoughts and feelings can assist with avoiding saying hurtful comments or being passive or aggressive in tone or speech. Understanding the importance of being in a calm mood when communicating can assist with being transparent with wants, needs, and feelings
Practice your responses ahead of time: Practicing your response for difficult topics to communicate feelings and emotions too can be useful for being confident about how you would like to respond in times of distress.
Say no when you need to: Instead of coming up with excuses saying no when you need to is important for respecting and valuing your individual needs.
Examples of assertive communication:
"I won't be able to attend your Friendsgiving on Saturday. I've had a long week and want to focus on rest and recuperate."
"I have been feeling frustrated when you are on your phone while I am talking to you because it makes me feel unheard. I would appreciate it if we had a technology-free zone when we are conversing."
"I am having difficulty reading my novel while you play video games. Would you mind using your headphones so that we can stay in the same room and practice our activities?"
All in all, Effective communication can be difficult, but focusing on communicating through assertive communication can be beneficial for both yourself and others.
One of the most powerful human needs is that of being seen and heard. We all want to feel valued, important and that we matter at various times. At Infinite Therapeutic Services, we have a team of caring therapists and counselors trained in evidence-based and strength-based approaches to help reduce the symptoms of depression, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and other modalities. We collectively believe that therapy is a collaborative process to help individuals find solutions in a safe, comfortable and confidential environment. If you are struggling with being heard, contact us today.. we can help you assertive communication.