Learn to Be More Assertive
From The Healthy Mind, Healthy Body Handbook by David S. Sobel and Robert Ornstein
In The Healthy Mind, Healthy Body Handbook, David S. Sobel and Robert Ornstein write that evidence suggests that communicating effectively enhances our health and self-esteem, nurtures our relationships, and helps us cope with stress. Healthy communication is the lifeblood of relationships, and relationships are a lifeline to health. Those who have close relationships in which they can share their feelings and feel supported tend to live longer lives.
The authors explain that those who don't communicate effectively are more vulnerable to disease, and may be at an increased of death. Several studies suggest that hostile, confrontational people have an increased risk of heart disease. And those who feel misunderstood report more of a kind of depression that weakens the immune system.
When communication breaks down, your heart rates speeds up. Cholesterol and blood sugar levels rise. We become susceptible to headaches, backaches, and digestive problems. We are more sensitive to pain. At work, worry over conflict and misunderstandings can make us irritable, unable to concentrate, and increase the risk of accidents.
You can learn to express yourself more effectively.
To communicate assertively:
1. State Your Observations:
Explain your thoughts or perception of the situation in an objective and nonjudgmental way as you can.
2. State Your Thoughts:
This is your opportunity to express your opinions, your beliefs, your interpretations, and your interpretation of the other person’s observations.
3. State Your Feelings:
Use “I” statements. For example, say “I get really upset when I’m late. It’s important for me to be on time,” instead of “You’re always making me late.” Focus on your own emotional reaction to the situation rather than blaming the other person for making you feel this way. State only the impact of the situation or someone else’s behavior on you.
4. State Your Wants:
Make clear, specific requests of the other person.
So nannies, don't blame your employers for your problems. Just learn to speak up assertively and improve your work relationships.