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Sunday, November 27, 2011


If I were to ask you how assertive you are what would you say? You can probably name a few people in your life who are very loud and boisterous to the extreme level or more aggressive. Then there are those who are quiet and very shy or more passive in nature. Can you picture these to extremes?

The reason I bring this up is that assertiveness (in between the two) is a skill that helps decrease stress for you as well as others. It is healthy to express your needs in a way that does not harm another person nor minimize what you want to say.

Being assertive has many benefits. It allows you to have confidence in asking for favors or help. You get more attention from others, have greater sense of ease with store clerks and strangers, receive recognition of work by peers, and have more personal time.

There are probably situations and people that you feel more comfortable with then others. I encourage you to adopt a few of the traits below in those situations that you struggle with.  

Body Posture: Stand tall, shoulders square but comfortable, body facing direction of communication

Eye Contact: Face to face, direct but relaxed with periodic breaks

Hand Gestures: Use hands to highlight meaning and feelings; paints a picture to complicate message.

Distance from the person: Comfortable distance and level for both persons. A good rule is “arms length away,” which is not too impersonal or offensive.

Facial Expression: relaxed, warm, friendly

Content: Specific and to the point, use of words that have meaning and feeling

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