In my DBT class yesterday there was a great visual that help me understand what I’m aiming for when I communication assertively. Below is a recreation.
Assertive means there is a balance between needs. When you spend too much time focusing on your own needs and wanting everyone to do the same it is aggressive. When you spend too much time focusing on the needs of someone else you are being passive. Assertive communication is right in the middle, caring about your needs and the needs of others.
This doesn’t mean that all needs can be met as some needs can conflict with our values or now is not the appropriate time to support those needs. What assertive communication does mean, to me at least, that everyone is able to safely express what they need, negotiate what should be done and a solution is agreed upon.
I need to work on being assertive, especially within my relationship with B. I tend to only think of my own needs so finding a balance will help our communication. I am fairly assertive in my professional life so I do have personal examples to pull on which give me confidence that I can eventually master assertiveness with B.
P.S. This is my 1400th post! Woot!