Sybil Holloway


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Practice Assertiveness

The Morning Call (Allentown, PA), December 27, 2005

Communicating effectively will strengthen your relationships and reduce your stress.  Improve your communication skills through education and practice. 
Three general styles of communication are passive, assertive, and aggressive.
People who behave in a passive manner do not stand up for themselves and do not express their true feelings.  People who behave in an aggressive manner are too forceful in their approach and show disrespect for the rights of others.  Both of these extreme styles are problematic and ineffective.
On the other hand, people who behave assertively communicate in a healthy and effective manner that shows respect for themselves as well as for others.  This is the goal. 
For example, if someone does something that bothers you, tactfully let them know how what they did or said made you feel and try to resolve the issue peacefully.  “I statements” are useful for owning your feelings and for concretely describing the problem behavior and its effect on you without blaming the other person or calling him or her names. 
Useful resource:

How To Win Friends & Influence People (Revised Edition) by Dale Carnegie (1981).  New York, NY:  Pocket Books.  

Copyright © 2005 by Sybil L. Holloway.
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