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“I” messages are the most effective way to communicate feelings. That’s a fairly straightforward sentence, but what does that mean?
Starting an important conversation by saying, “I feel_____” is a great way to not make the other party defensive. Conversely, starting a conversation by saying, “You _____,” is a guarantee that the receiver will put up defenses before you even get “You” out of your larynx.
Hypothetical Scenario #1
There’s an issue between you and your most significant other (SO). For creativity sake, let’s say that you have just discovered a foreign pair of undies behind a sofa cushion. You know they are not yours. And you are certain they don’t belong to your SO. For several days, these undies float around in your psyche, stirring the embers of hidden resentment, until finally on day four you can contain your suspicions no more. “You are a cheating, no-good-so-and-so,” you scream at your bewildered partner. “You are a lying cheat, and I know you’re having an affair! I found undies under the sofa cushion!”
Your bewildered soon-to-be-ex-SO packs an overnight bag and leaves. You interpret that as a sure sign of guilt, and have a locksmith change the locks immediately. Your anger robs you of focus; you can’t sleep; you eat your way thru a gallon of Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia and gain ten pounds thru stress eating before the next day. It’s all justified humiliation, and by the end of the week you’ve gained another ten. The pillow is permanently deformed due to the flood of salt-water tears, and the sheets need washing. You’re late to work; Dishes are piled high, and are now the resort choice of maggots. It’s all still justified humiliation, and your seething anger feeds your expanding indignation.
Hypothetical Scenario #2
There’s an issue between you and your most significant other (SO). For creativity sake, let’s say that you have just discovered a foreign pair of undies behind a sofa cushion. You know they are not yours. And you are certain they don’t belong to your SO. You phone your SO and calmly say, “I have something to say, and not now. When are you available to talk?”
Your SO is intrigued, and more than a little curious. Your SO wants to know now what’s up. Sticking to your calm plan, you repeat, “I have something to say, and not now. When are you available to talk?” The phone call ends with a concrete date set.
The time is now, and you and your SO are together. “I found a pair of undies in the sofa cushion and they are not mine. I am not jumping to any conclusions, and as such, have requested this meeting.”
SO laughs. “I use undies to clean my reading glasses. They must have been left on the sofa and lost behind a cushion. I’ve been wondering where those went! Sorry to leave my undies behind! I’m sure glad you found them though. Those once belonged to my mother. Dad used them to clean his glasses up until his death. They’re so soft that they don’t scratch the glass. Anyway, I’ll keep a better eye on them, especially now that I can clean my glasses again!” The two of you go to dinner and come home to fabulous love-making.
- Assertive communication is honest.
- Assertive communication is never manipulative.
- Assertive communication is clear and concise.
- Assertive communication is non-blaming communication.
- Assertive communication takes a lot less energy.
- Assertive communication sends positive ripples into the collective energy field.
- Assertive communication is healthy.
- Assertive communication is empowering.
Wars are started at the end of blame, accusations, and miscommunication. Wars consume valuable resources, and exhaust huge supplies of physical energy while sending perpetuating ripples of negativity into the collective field.
Peace begins within each individual. War ends within each individual. It really is that simple.
Assertive communication is also much healthier to your personal wellness as mental, physical, and spiritual health are aligned and strengthened thru integrity. We are each only as strong as the weakest link in our whole self. When mind, body, and spirit are aligned, we are balanced and most empowered. Perhaps most empowering of all, is the knowledge that we always have the choice of how to respond. Rather than reacting from some prehistoric fight or flee response, we are blessed with intelligence and logic and reasoning abilities. Making the mindful decision to respond instead of react is a sign of empowerment, and moreover, is a sign of wisdom.
Bonjour! As per law, all writings of Paris D’Aglion are automatically copyrighted and may not be used without written permission of the author. With that said, you are certainly free to link to a post, or give the link to a friend provided the hyperlink http://www.ParisDAglio.com remains active and intact. Merci beaucoup!
~From Paris with love.