What Is the Connection Between Communication Issues and Child Sexual Abuse?
What Are the Different Patterns of Communication?
Our ability to express ourselves is shaped by our experiences, our observations of others, and our personality. Like many other skills, communication can take several forms, and different circumstances may require a specific approach (like being firm and authoritative when warning a child not to walk into a busy street, and then softly consoling them when they realize the danger they avoided).
Below are some communication patterns we all slip into from time to time. Perhaps you may identify some aspects that arise in the way you communicate or how others communicate with you.
What Is Assertive Communication?
Assertive communication is the ability to honestly express your opinions, attitudes, and rights while also respecting the rights of others. This type of communication includes setting and maintaining healthy boundaries, being firm when needed, delivering messages clearly, and acting with respect, fairness, and empathy. It also allows you to acknowledge both your feelings and the feelings of others.
Learn more as Lauren shares an overview of how to communicate assertively.
Elements of Assertive Communication
Assertiveness includes being clear. As you deliver messages clearly, others are able to understand what you are saying and the meaning behind the words, feelings, and ideas you share.
How Can I Practice Communicating Assertively?
Ask if this is a good time.
State your concern.
Identify what you want or what you’re willing to negotiate.
Give the other person a chance to respond.
How Communicating Can Improve Your Relationships and Help You Heal
Overall, assertive communication can help you practice:
- Acknowledgement by understanding how trauma has had an effect on the way you communicate with others.
- Mindfulness by drawing your attention to the present moment and becoming more aware of how you are responding to others. You stay consistent in your convictions and how you express yourself.
- Aspiration by envisioning helpful dialogue with those you care about and working to practice that more and more often. You realize that what you have to say is just as important as anyone else, and that offering your insights not only helps you but improves the world around you.