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Learn to communicate positively

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Affirm your point of view while respecting that of others, this positive communication mode has a name: assertiveness. Everyone can learn to practice it on a daily basis.

Assertiveness is a mode of communication that allows you to assert yourself while respecting others.

It is a way of expressing yourself firmly and bluntly, respecting your own wishes or needs, but taking the other's point of view fairly.

Many people naturally practice assertiveness: they know how to listen, they present their requests simply, without submission or authoritarianism.

Assertiveness to resolve conflicts

Human relationships are often marked by three typical attitudes: flight, manipulation and aggression, usually in a context of anxiety or power struggles. Assertiveness, on the other hand, allows you to assert your point of view and resolve conflicts, or at least avoid creating them by choosing the right word.

Be careful, assertiveness makes it easier to win a case, but it should not be confused with an insidious form of manipulation or persuasion.

Examples and counterexamples of assertive communication.

They invite you to see a movie that doesn't interest you.

Say, "You know, that doesn't mean anything to me."

Don't say, "Are you sure this movie is worth it?" Which is to question your friend's judgment.

Your partner joins you in the garden for a friendly chat with a neighbor. Leave the house door open.

Saying, "It would be simpler if the door was closed," which is an easy way to express your concern.

Don't say, "Are you sure it's safe to leave the door open?" This aggressive approach can cause the automatic response (by reflex and / or defense) a laconic "yes, I'm sure." Then you find yourself trapped: either you leave the conversation to close the door (which will arouse resentment), or you stay in the garden but in a state of stress, without being able to forget that open door. In any case, there is a risk of later arguments between the spouses and resentment.

A co-worker usually goes out to smoke a cigarette.

Say: "Your repeated absences complicate work."

Not to say, in a deceptively humorous tone, "So I hope that cigarette was a good one? By implication, it is very convenient to be a smoker when there is work. Assault replaces blame when it is well founded.

In the hospital, a nurse must give your child an injection.

Say, "The nurse is going to give you an injection."

Don't say, "We're going to give a little injection." The expressed desire to minimize the sting has the effect of provoking the opposite reaction and increasing the apprehension of the patient.

What are the benefits of assertiveness?

In the short term, if not immediately, being able to formulate an opinion is a relief. The fact of formulating it in an assertive way allows reducing personal stress without inducing "counter-stress" in others, therefore without the risk of provoking disagreements or conflicts.

In the medium term, assertiveness allows you to respect and earn respect, communicate effectively and therefore concretely, to better solve everyday problems.


By reflecting on their own assertiveness with a view to developing it, the individual learns to know himself better, to identify his most frequent reactions in different situations: in a relationship, with his children and friends, in the workplace or even with complete strangers (tellers, merchants, policemen, etc.).

Learn to frustrate your old reflexes, defensive or aggressive, but also to recognize in other attempts at manipulation, disturbing comments, attitudes of domination.

Assertiveness is what is called emotional intelligence: it leads to a boost in self-esteem.

How to develop your own assertiveness?

Assertiveness can be trained in psychotherapy. It is also found in various psychotherapeutic approaches, particularly in the transactional analysis from which the concept emerged.

Most personal development techniques use it. It is especially valued in coaching and mobilization practices in companies.

On an individual level, everyone can achieve assertiveness by reflecting on how they communicate. But it is not always easy to be a spectator and actor of your communication as it develops.

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