Four Steps to Assertive Behavior

Posted on: May 23, 2007

Four Steps to Assertive Behavior

There are four recognized styles of communication. Each individual has a primary and secondary style of communication. Frequently, our style of communication is determined by our mood, the situation we find ourselve in or the person with whom we are attempting to communicate with.

The most commonly used communication styles are assertive communication, passive communication, aggressive communication and passive-aggressive communication. Assertive communication is the most effective style of communication and the one taught in certified anger management classes.

In order to change from any of the three styles of communication which are non-productive, it requires the following:

1.Positive motivation. Motivation is the key to any change.Positive goals can be linked to positive behavior. One simple strategy to become  more assertive is to begin using assertive self-talk. You may also place a note in some special place that says “I AM ASSERTIVE”. This may be made into a screen saver, placard in your car or postit on your mirror or refridgerator.

2.Imagine your goal. Think of how your life will be different once you have made these changes. You may wish to change because you want to develop a wider repertoire of behaviour that allow you to operate in the world at large. Changing be result in more success at work or in interpersonal relationships. Moving from aggressive behaviour to assertive may improve your over-all health. Use all of your powers of imagination to feel, hear, smell, or sense what your success will be like.

3.Make a 28-Day Plan. Commit to using assertive communication as least once each day. Record these statement daily with a simple explanation of the situation, the reactions of the listener and the success or lack of success from this interaction.

4.Enlist others to help you. One of the reasons for success in substance abuse programs is the support offered by others is sustaining sobriety. Identify people who will help you achieve your goal,or who will benefit from your success.

 At the end of your 28 day self-help assertive communication plan, evaluate your success and determine if an anger management group may also be useful.


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