by Frances Stone – Ms. Recovery Writes
Whatever people want in life, the ability to communicate effectively with the people around them is essential to achieving it. But people are not born with these skills – getting across to other people what you want and feel and responding to their needs is very hard work!
Are you a Good Communicator?
Good Communicators express themselves clearly, using both verbal and non-verbal skills. For example, facial expression and body language, “match” i.e walks & talks like a duck! Good communicators also LISTEN to the verbal and the non-verbal cues of the other person.
The way a person stands, sits, walks and gestures reflects how they feel about other people and either helps or hinders their communication. Standing or sitting exactly facing each other, or at a slight angle, is the most direct way for people to place themselves when talking.
Making frequent eye contact with the listener to ensure they are still listening, will signal when it is their turn to speak. The way people dress and present themselves also makes an impression on those around them and will define how seriously their opinions and communications should be taken. Finally, personal space not too little and not too much you don't want to be accused of being a close-talker or be viewed as aggressive, unless you are aggressive, then—as you were. Ha!
Are You Assertive?
Assertiveness is based on an acceptance of personal responsibility, combined with an awareness of the rights of other people. It is the ability to communicate with others in a way that allows an individual to say directly what they really think, feel or want, while taking into account the feelings of others. Assertiveness enables you to communicate friendship, love, affection annoyance, anger, pleasure, grief, sadness and to accept praise and criticism. You know, REAL life!
Assertiveness is being able to be honest with everyone, expressing opinions, ideas and saying directly what you want; asking for help when it is needed; saying “NO” when it is justified; expressing both positive and negative feelings; taking responsibility for personal actions without blaming other people; the ability to negotiate where conflict exists (The Win-Win); respecting oneself as equal to other people with equal rights and needs, while feeling in control of your life.
Assertiveness is not a person getting their own way at a cost to other people; winning; manipulating others; bullying other people into doing something they don’t want to do; being aggressive either verbally or non-verbally; making sarcastic remarks or innuendoes as hidden messages; emotionally blackmailing the other person into doing something; giving way to other people to please or placate and/or humiliating or making other people to look small.
A lack of assertiveness can lead to being unfairly treated by others; bottling things up; leading to anger, resentment, tension and stress; avoidance: not confronting others, not saying what a person feels, being dishonest and can result in barriers between people; individuals feeling not in control of their life; feeling isolated and lonely, even when in company as well as anxiety and depression.
So, How Does This Information Help You Get What You REALLY, REALLY Want?
To get what you truly want, you must first decide what it is. This seems simplistic, but it really is true. If you find yourself in a situation where you feel angry, victimized or depressed — ask yourself what you really want. Even this very simple question will help you clarify what you need to get what you want and discern whether its achievable. Being unapologetic about your wants and needs helps you immensely in reaching your goal.
Now ask yourself if what you want aligns with your greatest good. What is your greatest good? Is it to have your needs for food, shelter, safety, love and purpose met? This is where asking a Higher Power and supportive friends can be helpful as it is so hard for us to see what is for the best when our heart's desire overrules our logical brain.
The other thing to keep in mind is timing. Sometimes you can get what you want, but just not right now. That is when you must be determined and persevere doing what you can, when you can, and leave the outcome of what you think you want to your Higher Power.
Those are usually the BIG dreams and if you really want them, you'll wait for them.
In the meantime, developing the ability to communicate and be assertive prepares you for when those big dreams come true as a way of learning how to connect to yourself and others. When you develop the courage to see and be your true self, you also develop the necessary kindness and grace for others that it requires to be exactly that. Its no easy task to be yourself. I don't know why this is, but its true.
Being mindful and aware of how you treat others, is always a step in the right direction on any path to get what it is that we all really, really want which is to be connected to each other and live a life of purpose.
All my Relations - Frances Stone, Ms. Recovery Writes
Frances Stone is the Author of A Reflection of Love ~ A Different Kind of Love Story, a Recovery Counsellor and a Radio Co-Host of Talk Recovery Vancouver, a show about addiction and recovery issues, located in the DTES of Vancouver, BC. In her spare time, she does laundry and mothers three clever, curious and challenging little humans.