Home' Aurora : Aurora December 2014 Contents 9
www.mn .catholic.org.au Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle
Assertiveness is a skill that does
not come naturally to most of us.
Being asser tive shows that you
are willing to address conflict
and this is something that
makes most people quite
uncomfor table. Ins tead of speaking up and
addressing concerns, many people end up
avoiding discomfor t and unfor tunately also
end up feeling the way you do.
You do not have to feel comfortable
to be assertive – you just have to do it,
sometimes despite how you feel. It is
impor tant to carefully choose times when
you feel assertiveness would be beneficial
and be prepared to go straight through the
awkwardness, r ather than around it.
Expressing yourself in an asser tive manner
involves more than what you say; it
includes non-ve rbal communication such
as body posture and facial expressions ;
the tone of your voice ; the way you
construct your words and the content
of your message. Practise asser tive
communication beginning with minor
issues and work your way up to more
difficult concerns. Just remember that it’s
all right to feel ner vous when preparing to
communicate asser tively. This is a shor t
term consequence compared with the
long term resentment and anxiety you may
feel by not saying anything at all.
Body posture and facial expressions:
Maintain good eye contact, open posture
with non-threatening hand gestures, don’t
stand too close to the other person and
your face should match how you feel.
Tone of voice: One of thegoals of
assertiveness is to be heard, so you cannot
speak in a whisper-soft voice. Speak calmly
and with good projection. Keep your
voice friendly but also serious enough to
emphasise your message. Speak at an
Content: If you have time, think about
what message you are trying to convey.
What are the main points you would like
to get across? Below are some examples of
how to respond to par ticular situations in
an asser tive way – neither passive,
How to say “no”: Immediately start by
saying that you are not able to do (that
thing) – “I’m sorry,I can’t”. Give the
listener your reason for saying no and also
provide some empathy and unders tanding
by saying that you hope they sor t the
problem out soon. On the other hand,
if you would like to say yes but you
know you cannot do the requested task
immediately you could say, “I can finish the
report for you later in the week, possibly
by Friday.” Provide reasons why it cannot
be done immediately and leave it at that.
How to express negative feelings: Always
begin with how you felt when the other
person acted as they did. Stick to the facts
and do not label the other person. You
might say, “I was really upset when you
called me lazy yesterday. I spent a lot of
time working on this.” You can also suggest
what you would like to happen nex t time,
such as, “If you feel I am getting off track,
please come and talk to me about this first.
Calling me lazy only makes me feel worse.”
When you are seeking information: Be
clear about what the problem is, such as,
“ You have requested that I prioritise these
two major reports but have not given
me a timeframe.” Then you can either
seek suppor t or make a suggestion –
“Could you please provide specific advice
about the timeframe or perhaps I can
suggest one?” Once you have come to an
agreement, summarise the main points so
you are both clear about what needs to
The above advice applies to work as well
as to family and friends. It takes practice to
become more comfor table with assertive
communication but if you start small, you
will be inspired by the success that will
follow. Assertiveness does not mean you
will always get what you want but you can
at least walk away from a situation knowing
you have been heard and you tried your
best to resolve issues.
CatholicCare's Counselling Team
Leader, registered psychologist
Tanya Russell, will address an
issue each month.
The advice provided is general
in nature and does not replace
ongoing support and advice
from your health professional.
To talk to someone about
counselling support, P 4979 1172.
Email your question to aurora@
mn.catholic.org.au or write to
Aurora-CareTalk PO Box 756
I would like some advice on how to be more assertive, both at work and with my family. I find it
really difficult to say no and as a result, I end up feeling emotionally overwhelmed and resentful
towards others. I feel I let people walk all over me because I am nice. Where do I start?
ASSERTING YOUR SELF
Australian Catholic Superannuation – offices in Brisbane, Canberra, Perth, Port Macquarie, Sydney, Townsville
t 1300 658 776
w www.catholicsuper.com .au
SCS Super Pty Limited, ABN 74 064 712 607, AFSL 230544, RSE L0002264 Tr ustee of Australian Catholic Superannuation & Retirement Fund, ABN 24 680 629 023 , RSE R1055436. This document is not intended to be financial advice, therefore, you should consider obtaining independent financial
advice before making any decisions about your benefits in the fund. Refer to the Product Disclosure Statement and fact sheets available on our website. The Australian Catholic Superannuation financial planning service is offered through an arrangement with Industry Fund Services Limited (AFSL 232514)
Nev and Carole saved $000s
with financial planning advice.
After meeting with a financial planner at Australian Catholic Superannuation they sold their
Tailored advice provided them substantial financial benefits and peace of mind.
To make an appointment to meet with a financial planner to discuss your
circumstances and objectives just call us on 1300 658 776.
Visit catholicsuper.com.au/nev or call us on 1300 658 776
Links Archive Aurora November 2014 Aurora February 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page