FOCUS FACT FEELING FUTURE
Did someone push your mute button? Was it your parent’s
strict rules, a boyfriend’s or girlfriend’s control of you,
your buddies’ ridicule, or society’s role for you that make you
afraid to speak up? Learning assertiveness is mandatory because
it makes life easier for everyone.
What is assertiveness? It is not being pushy, bossy or rude.
Assertiveness is what allows your opinion to be heard so that
you can take control of your half of your relationships. How
you handle daily conflict can make or break your relationship.
People typically approach conflict in relationships by expressing
themselves with one of the following ways:
• Passive-Aggressive Behavior
These four levels of communication can define your relationship—
which of the four you use is up to you. The only
one that can actually improve relationships is Assertiveness.
Aggression represents loud or threatening communication
and behavior. Even a raised eyebrow can be threatening if you
believe that person might (on purpose) lose control. Passive aggressive
behavior pretends to be innocent, but it is calculated.
It is aggression gone underground, coupled with
premeditated hostility, covered by a smile. “Oh, did you call
me for dinner? I didn’t hear you,” is so harmless sounding, yet
they did hear you. Their motivation was to get to you, make
you angry or win some battle in their head.
Passivity/Depression is either letting someone walk all
over you, or helplessly ceasing to care.
Good communication is Assertive.
Assertiveness is a sentence that starts with “I want…” or
“I think…” or “I need…” and makes a truthful statement followed
by a description of the action you intend to take.
Remember the concept of assertiveness in four words:
“Focus, Fact, Feeling, Future.” Choose one topic, state your
facts and how you feel about them. Then say exactly what you
are planning to do about it.
Let us look at each of these in detail.
PICKING YOUR BATTLES
The quickest way to become ineffective is to dilute your
Let us say, for instance, that your mission on a particular
day is to have everybody’s shoes picked up from the hallway—
and not by you (again). You announce that desire to
your family, and then you go on to demand that the kitchen
counter be cleaned, the kids stop teasing the dog, and someone
write the thank you cards from Christmas. Soon eyes glaze
over and your message is not being heard. In fact, who can tell
what you really want done? The result is probably shoes left
in the hallway.
If you ask for multiple things all at once, you are definitely
not going to get them, and then you start a pattern of failure.
You are becoming a loser. People stop paying attention.
Spreading your demands all over the map renders you powerless
Turn your situation around with the four F’s: Focus-Fact-
Feeling-Future, and become a winner.
You must decide what is most important to you, right
now. Focus on only one subject like no shoes in the hallway,
create an annoying consequence that you can fulfill, and you
will get results—because your family will learn that you
mean business. They may not value the cleaned hallway or
your comfort, but they will value avoiding your consequence.
Therein resides the secret, the consequence!
The important thing is that you establish a pattern of getting
what you want and especially getting what you need.
“When you ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”
For more on ASSERTIVENESS please read MATCHLINES by Dr. Molly Barrow
Dr. Molly Barrow holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is the author of the new book, “Matchlines: A Revolutionary New Way of Looking at Relationships and Making the Right Choices in Love,” ISBN 159507158X. She is an authority on relationship and psychological topics, a member of the American Psychological Association and a licensed mental health counselor. Dr. Molly has appeared as an expert in the film, My Suicide, documentaries Ready to Explode and KTLA Impact, NBC news, PBS In Focus, WBZT talk radio and in O Magazine, Psychology Today, Newsday, The Nest, MSN.com, Yahoo, Match.com, N Magazine, Women’s Health and Women’s World. Please visit: http://www.askdrmolly.com
To read articles by Dr. Molly please visit: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Molly_Barrow