Just say No. Ok this is a hard one for us. We find it easier to say yes, go with the flow and not rock the boat. As women, often times we are taught just that. Smile, agree and don’t make too much noise. What we have found is this type of behavior is stressful and definitely not empowering! Not saying what you are thinking and keeping quiet takes its told on you. We were raised with two primary models of communication. Aggressive or Passive. Aggressive is more combative, argumentative, accusatory and usually involved raised voices. Passive is keeping your feelings bottled up inside and never feeling comfortable letting your voice be heard. Both can cause stress and neither are the best way to communicate. So what is a good way to communicate, We are so glad you asked because we want you to practice it with us!
Assertive Communication. We have found that Assertive Communication does allow us to be heard and also reduces our stress. Assertive Communication is a type of communication skill wherein you express yourself effectively and stand up for your point of view while also respecting the rights and beliefs of others. Ok, but what does that mean Fly gals? Let’s look at an example we use in our girl empowerment classes: in class we ask them to choose which answer is the Assertive Answer. They have a lot of fun with it and often times act the answers out while reading.
Your friend asks you if you want to go to a movie but you don’t want to go.
- Whatever you wanna do is fine with me.
- I’m not going to that movie it’s so boring!
- I would really like to spend time with you but maybe we can do something else this time and go to the movies later.
So what letter do you think was the Assertive response? If you said C you got it! A could be considered passive and saying nothing often times makes you feel even worse. B could be considered the aggressive response. That type of response may make you feel good in the moment but shortly after you will probably feel worse. In answer C, you identify the issue in a non-threatening way, you tell how you feel about the situation and come up with a great solution. There is no shouting and both people can continue to have a conversation after.
We aren’t going to lie, Assertive Communication is a hard one for us. We would rather just say yes to everything. We would rather give and live answer A but we are happy to say we are practicing Assertive communication with each other and in our everyday lives. The more we do it the less stressed we feel too. Not to mention pretty empowered too. Try it! Let us know how you feel after.