Today we focus on how to build healthy relationships with other people.
We’re particularly thinking of partners, friends and family members. There are simple ways to assert yourself in these relationships that will make you happier and healthier.
Assertiveness is about seeing the other person’s viewpoint and being prepared to listen. The more flexible you are, the more choices you have about how you relate to others, and the more opportunities you have to resolve conflicts.
The following beliefs will underpin and support your behaviour:
My needs are important and so are others
I’m responsible for my behaviour others are responsible for theirs
It’s ok to be me (in ways that do not remove the rights of other)
I don’t have to lose for other people to win
I can stand up for myself without attacking others
I can choose how I feel – I don’t have to be manipulated by others
I’ll get more of what I want if I also consider what others want
I can’t always choose the situation, but I can always chose my behaviour
Choose the one Belief that will support you most.
The following list of rights will provide you with the confidence you need to behave assertively with others.
I have the right to be ‘me’ (to be different from others, or what others want me to be, or do)
I have the right to be treated with respect
I have the right not to be dependent on someone else’s approval
I have the right to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ without feeling guilty or selfish
I have the right to be human e.g. to make a mistake
I have the right to change my mind and ‘to change’
I have the right to make my own decisions and to deal with the consequences
I have the right to seek a win;win
Choose the one right that you want to give yourself most.
Below are some of the things that you need to say to yourself in order to programme yourself so that you are able to build healthy relationships with others
I can acknowledge what they’re saying and get them to acknowledge my position too
I can ask them questions to establish what they really mean or what the ‘real’ issue is
I can be honest about how I feel and explain my thinking
If there is a difficult exchange I can keep calm
People can have strong feelings on certain subjects, it doesn’t have to spoil our relationship
Everyone has something to contribute
Everyone has a right to change
Finally choose one piece of Self Talk that will be your mantra – something you can repeat again and again to yourself as a way of reinforcing your commitment before speaking to them.
Below is a list of verbal tips designed to build healthy relationships with others
Show empathy with other people’s situation, this doesn’t mean that you have to agree with what they’re saying i.e. ‘I can hear that you’re upset and feel you’ve been let down’.
Ask open questions to clarify or get to the route of what they’re saying i.e. ‘What specifically do you want me to do differently?’
Test understanding to clarify what’s been said i.e. ‘Let me just check that I’ve understood you correctly – you said that you think I was ignoring you?’
If you agree with something that’s being said then say so i.e. ‘Yes I agree, that’s what I believe too’
If the other person refuses to consider your view use a ‘verbal handshake’ in order to open up the possibility of win:win i.e.
‘I appreciate your position in that you’re upset because you’ve had to wait such a long time
Do you appreciate that I also feel let down in that I didn’t know what had been arranged?’
Choose a Behavioral Tip from this list that will show you how to build healthy relationships with others.