Changing our relationship with shouting
We have all been there. We start out with good intentions - we just want to talk, yet within minutes we can feel our chest tightening, our voice getting louder and before you know it a full-blown row. And you are off into full shouting mode. Does this sound familiar?
And I guess it makes you shout more - when you get told you are shouting. It turns into a no I am not, yes you are scenario .......
But here's the message - it doesn't need to be like this! With practice you can learn to communicate assertively, and even if that means practising in the mirror. By learning to communicate effectively can help improve the relationships in your life which can go on to improve issues such as anger, depression or anxiety.
This not only ensures you get heard but its also good for your health and any doors that are slammed! Communicating assertively means clearly and calmly expressing what you need without being too passive or too aggressive. It's simply about getting the balance right.
Learning to communicate assertively without shouting and changing our relationship with shouting won't guarantee you will get your needs met.
But it does make it more likely, and it might just help your relationship with family and friends. After all - who wants to stick around an angry shouty person? And if you don't express how you feel - how will others know what you need?
Tips for communicating assertively
Use "I" Statements, be clear and direct
- " I really like your idea, but I would prefer to meet up next Wednesday or Thursday. Does that work for you?"
- "I would like to receive a refund, I don't want a credit note."
- "I am busy tonight. I can't stay on the phone. I have to go."
Describe how another persons behaviour makes you feel. This can make others aware of the consequences of their actions.
- "When you don't explain to me how you feel it makes me confused".
- When you raise your voice it makes me frightened. I would like you to speak softly."
Stick to your guns - really yes the broken record technique. This means thinking about what you want, preparing what you might say, then repeating it as necessary, whilst staying calm. Reminding yourself visually of a record player playing "I am in control. I am changing my relationship with shouting".
" I would like a refund ..... Yes, but I would still like a refund ..... I have heard what you have said but I still would like a refund".
Assertiveness is a skill which can be learnt. Many of us think people are born with the ability and that's the end of it. That's simply not true, however, it can be uncomfortable learning how to be assertive.
Even being assertive can feel uncomfortable or difficult at times. But it really will help you lead a more harmonious life in the long run. Meaning a happier you all round.