How To Communicate Assertively

communication-1991849_960_720-563x300

Throughout our lives we experience a series of crossroads. Some roads lead us to carry on the path we are currently on. Whilst other paths lead us to new pastures. No paths ever take us backwards, ensuring that we continuously move forwards with every new day that we are blessed with.

During these crossroads, we may realise that there are people or situations in our lives that we no longer resonate with. These could include our jobs, hobbies, friends or even family members. To walk away from these people/situations (if they are harmful to our growth and wellbeing) is a sign of authenticity in its maturity stage.

Assertiveness is when we confidently and positively express our opinions, ideas and talents. For example, Person A may ask; “Will you help me with this project tomorrow?” If you can and you want to, by all means say yes. Remember though, saying no is also an option. So many of us will say yes so as not to upset anybody. In truth, living our lives this way will ultimately wear us out!

When we hold the core belief that we are each equal to everyone else (not better or worse) but equal, we can then begin communicate from a
place of true equality.

people-2559723_960_720-300x200

Saying no to someone’s demands or walking away from situations we find uncomfortable is totally acceptable!

If we are made to feel as though we are wrong, or that we have upset or let others down, because our answer has not ‘fit in’ with others’ expectations, we have to re-evaluate. We must at this point, consider if we are being treated equally within the relationship.

We don’t have to be aggressive expressing who we are, but at same time we don’t have ‘tip toe’ around a person in case we upset them. If you speak your wants and needs clearly and assertively without aggressive tones, you have nothing to fear.

Below I will share with you 9 tips to help you in understanding what assertiveness looks like, and how you can implement an assertive energy into your life.

Tips on how to be assertive

thumb-1013968_960_720-300x300

1) Start a sentence with the word I in situations of debate. 

For example, when trying to resolve an issue, aggressive language would be “you always do this!”
Assertive language would be “I feel disappointed when you change plans at the last minute” you can express your feelings without giving away your power, or trying to control someone else.

2) Maintaining eye contact. 

Ok, we don’t want to have a full on freakish staring competition, but not having any eye contact shows discomfort and indecisiveness. Maintaining it shows you are present within the conversation. If you struggle with eye contact, you can practice on yourself in the mirror. This may feel awkward at first, but it is a great technique to build confidence. After all, our eyes are the windows to the soul.

3) Practice good body posture. 

If you are able, standing tall rather than slouching will allow you to feel more assertive in yourself. Keep your shoulders back, and your head high. When you walk into a room, people will notice. This may feel unusual at first, especially if you’ve been used to slouching in order to ‘blend in’. Just know that the way you walk really will change how you feel within yourself.

4) Avoid being vague. 

“You’re always criticising me” may be an easy thing to say in frustration, but being generalised and not specific actually can damage your ability to be assertive.
Instead you could say; “This is the third time this week you have critiqued my decision”. This is a more specific statement and therefore helps you to stand your ground. When we speak facts instead of random thoughts we can be more assertive and create boundaries with others.

5) Speak facts, not judgements. 

Saying “he’s so bad at his job” is not an assertive way of describing a person that you have a professional issue with.
Saying “this is the second time he has misplaced important documents” however, is a fact not a judgement. When you are assertive there is no need to judge others. You can still vocalise issues that need to be talked about, in a non-judgemental way.

6) Silence is a great tool. 
Filling in silences that you find awkward is something that so many of us have done, but remember, thinking through your words through before you speak is totally fine! If someone asks you “can you pick me up from the airport tomorrow” there are 3 ways you can answer.

Passive language “erm, I think I can, yes, ok that’s fine”

Aggressive language “Are you kidding me! How come I’m always the one doing you favours? Or “ok I’ll do it but you best be on time”

Assertive language (pause to think) you could say; “I’ll have to think about that” or ‘yes’ or ‘no’ depending on whether you can or cannot. It’s a simple answer to a simple question.

7) Be mindful of the tone of your voice. 

Sometimes we may think we are being assertive but mumbling shows passive language and high pitched tones or raised voices show aggressiveness. Practice being assertive with a voice that is neutral, natural yet controlled.

8) Express your emotions clearly. 

This tip is quite straight forward. If you communicate how you feel, crossed wires with others can be avoided.

9) You are responsible for yourself. 

Your behavior and your personality is your responsibility. (Unless you have a medical condition which is out of your control, which alters this statement)
On the most part it is you that decides whether to let a person or situation control you, or whether you instigate arguments and drama. Staying assertive in situations won’t compromise the way you feel about yourself, and the way you treat others. Remember that boundaries are healthy, and you have every right to live with them in mind.

Written by Alyssa Cruise

Check out her blog here

 

 

 

Advertisements

Miss chief at Liverpool Academy of Arts

DSC_0021.png.jpg

Our very own Miss Chief in Merseyside, Alison Roberts has been selected to have her artwork displayed at the second oldest arts academy in the world, Liverpool Arts Academy.

 

There are a number of artists works also on display. The exhibition is located at The Corke Gallery situated on Aigburth Rd.  It will be running from 8th August until the 24th August and open to the public Tuesday- Saturday 1-5pm.

Be sure to go down and check out and support all the local artists.

Miss chief would like to thank June Lornie for organizing the exhibition and all the work she does for at the academy. June will soon be appearing on Miss chief in Merseyside, so we will get to know her a little bit better.

Check out more about Liverpool Academy of Arts here.

IM000339

Best Wishes,

Miss Chief in Merseyside xxx

Five Keys to Avoid Overwhelm

castle-838356_960_720-450x300

Before I share the five keys, I want to clarify the difference between overwhelm and burnout. Overwhelm is often an in-the-moment feeling and can be triggered by stress. It leaves us feeling as though we can’t handle everything going on around us.
However, unlike overwhelm, burn out happens when we haven’t been listening to the signals our body sends, we become exhausted and before long we’ve reached burnout.
This article focuses upon overwhelm, how to avoid it and how you can kiss overwhelm goodbye for good!
1. Just Say No!

sayno-300x225
Are you saying n o enough? As someone who is most probably empowered, passionate and creative you have already learnt to say yes to lots of things. In most cases this is a positive practice. Saying yes pushes us out of our comfort zones. It opens amazing new doors of opportunity and growth. However, before you reach burn out check in with yourself and ask yourself; “am I saying yes to too many things?”
You can easily begin to feel overwhelmed when you can’t manage your obligations fully. Or perhaps you’ve taken on too many responsibilities. Now’s the time to take an objective step back and see if there are areas in your life that you could ‘trim back on’ to suit you better. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help, as feeling burdened is one sure way to lead to overwhelm.

2. Start Your Day Right

breakfast-867822_960_720-300x274

When we start our day in the right frame of mind we feel more in control of our lives. Have you ever had a day you woke up late for something? Perhaps it left you feeling flustered and agitated and then you noticed ho w the rest of the day seemed to follow suit. Yes, we are human and those days can happen to us all. But when those days become more than a one off is when overwhelm will become a problem.
Begin your day in the most peaceful and productive way possible. The first thing I do is drink water with fresh lemon and yes, I do this before I check my phone, social media or emails! After waking we need to fuel our bodies. I also read a chapter from a book that inspires and motivates me. This offers me focus and intention for my own purpose that day.
Think about how you can start your day in the most positive and empowered way and come up with morning routines that nourish and nurture you. Maybe stretches, yoga or listening to an uplifting podcast. Having a morning ritual such as these, makes it very hard for overwhelm to find you and try to bring you down.

3. Don’t Hop Around

balancing-1868051_960_720-300x200

See if you recognise yourself in any of these statements.
• I structure my workdays
• I move methodically from one project to the next, with space between each
• I finish one task and then move immediately to another
• I have many tasks on the go at any one time
• I’m restless and constantly checking social media, emails etc., while planning my day
When we create a schedule we’re less likely to face overwhelm. If we give ourselves set time between each task to reboot and reset, we’ll feel less stressed and better able to cope with the demands of our job. Unlike ‘hopping’ around with no organised plan, which can easily lead to overwhelm.
4. Tidy Up Time!

mistake-876597_960_720-300x200

I remember as a young child in school we had ‘tidy up time’. This was a set amount of time for the end of the day where we would get our coats, bags, lunchbox and pens packed and ready to be taken home. Now as an adult I still remind myself to participate in this tidy up time, in a new, structured and practical way.
So, how can you implement this same philosophy into your busy day? It’s simple, take time before your day has finished to catch up on any loose ends. After all, when you get home to spend time with those you love, they should have your undivided attention. But, that’s difficult to do if you’re thinking about that last email you should have sent, or the phone call you forgot to make.
By scheduling in 30 minutes before the end of each day, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to review, evaluate and complete those tasks that just can’t wait. You’re taking control of a much better work/life balance and creating harmony between the two.
5. Be the Captain of Your Own Attitude

boat-2387790_960_720-300x225
Are you ready to be the captain of your attitudes and improve the way you approach life?
Overwhelm, simply put, is when we feel we have lost control of the moment that we are in. It can leave us feeling; flustered, confused and stressed. But, what if we approached every moment from a conscious place of confidence, high energy and trust?
When unforeseen circumstances arise are you going to be the person who yells out, ‘I don’t know what to do!’ or are you going to be the person who calmly says to yourself, ‘I don’t have a plan right this second, but I know all things can be figured out and resolved’.
The decision is yours. If you make a conscious choice in every moment to stand in your own personal power, you are the calm within the storm. Decide to be the voice of reason when everyone else is in chaos.

Leave Overwhelm Behind for Good
Implement these strategies and;
• learn what to say no to
• start your day right
• enjoy a better work/life balance
• prioritise tasks
• be in control your own thoughts and
• you will very rarely feel overwhelmed again
We cannot see what the future holds, or what awaits us. But, we can breathe deeply and make a promise to ourselves that we will learn to handle everything we’re faced with. Whatever we have on our plate we can deal with….one step at a time.

 

Post written by Alyssa Cruise –

Check out her blog here

Alyssa Cruise

Sarah McBride (10).png

About Alyssa

Speaker, holistic life coach & mentor Alyssa is passionate about inspiring you to achieve your personal goals and dreams. Alyssa works holistically, empowering you to develop the self- belief and confidence to excel at whatever your dream is.

Alyssa will show you how to build upon the strengths that you already have. In her uplifting and creative approaches, she works with individuals and groups, facilitating their personal development journey.

Check out Alyssa’s blog here