Stress Management: Reducing Stress by Being Assertive
What is an Actionset?
Poor communication is one of the biggest causes of stress at work and home. Being unable to talk about your needs, concerns, and frustrations can create stress. Being assertive helps you communicate without causing stress to yourself and others. Assertiveness is a skill that you can learn and put into practice.
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Assertive communication means speaking up for yourself in a thoughtful, tactful way. It's one of the three main styles of communication. The other two are passive communication and aggressive communication. If you are passive or aggressive, you might get better results by trying to be assertive instead.
In passive communication, you may not express your opinions, feelings, and needs. You may be uncomfortable speaking your mind, especially when you are with supervisors or people you see as important. When you are passive, you don't take part in decisions that affect you, or you don't take a stand on issues that are important to you. Being passive can make you feel like you have no control over a situation. Feeling a lack of control leads to stress.
In aggressive communication, you honestly state your opinions, feelings, and needs, but you do it at the expense of others. You may be seen as rude or demanding. And being aggressive often offends others. Their negative reaction can lead to stress for everyone.
In assertive communication, you state your opinions, feelings, and needs openly. You do this in a respectful, tactful, and thoughtful way. In most cases, being assertive works better than being passive or aggressive.
Test Your Knowledge
When I speak assertively, I state my feelings openly, without being rude or demanding.
You can be just as effective in expressing yourself whether you use passive, aggressive, or assertive communication.
Being assertive helps you communicate in a healthy way. It helps you stand up for yourself without offending others. It helps you feel more in control of a situation. When you are assertive, you take part in decisions that affect you. You have the satisfaction of knowing that you can express your feelings and opinions honestly with others. And being assertive can reduce stress.
There are other benefits of assertive communication. You may:
Test Your Knowledge
Being assertive can reduce stress by helping me feel more in control of a situation.
One of the benefits of assertive speaking may be that I'm more comfortable with supervisors at work.
To be more assertive, you focus on what you say and how you say it. You can plan and practice how to be more assertive using the assertiveness ladder. You can use the assertiveness ladder at home or at work. Use the letters of the word "LADDER" to recall the steps.
How to use the assertiveness ladder:
Using assertive body language
Body language is the way you sit or stand, move, and use your eyes and hands when you speak. Sometimes when you think you're speaking assertively, your body is sending a different message. That message can get in the way of what you are trying to say. Using the right body language helps you communicate more assertively. Try these five tips:
You'll be more comfortable if you practice these rules in front of a mirror. When you practice, you can also hear your tone of voice.
Test Your Knowledge
One of the steps of the assertiveness ladder is to describe my feelings using "you" statements.
I'll do my best in the real situation if I don't get too comfortable with my plan. It's better to be fresh and unrehearsed.
The way I "speak" with my body can help me communicate assertively. One of the ways I can show assertive body language is to make eye contact with the person I'm talking to.
Now that you're read this information, you know more about how to reduce stress by being assertive. Try practicing the assertiveness ladder and body language on your own.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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