Personal power is often confused with the control of others. Personal power frees people from the need to control or be controlled. Personal power is not power or control over someone or something else., either overt or covert. A speaker has personal power by focusing on the message and by choosing direct. And clear words that deliver that message: this allows them to get on with the business of problem-solving. Exploring alternatives and making decisions.
This message covers assertiveness skills that are involved in developing and keeping personal power. The discussions begins with blocks- things that keep people from being powerful-and then considers the use of power-language, the identification of personal rights, the right to say ”no” and the importance of an assertive inner dialogue.
Blocks to Assertiveness.
Many people who know what assertiveness is and how to use it, and what it’s benefits are, still aren’t assertive. Why not? When they start listing the reasons why assertiveness ” won’t work” in particular, situations, they come up with reasons like” it won’t do any good, ” and I really can handle it- her just die.” I couldn’t handle it- I’m not tough enough.”
These reasons are blocks to assertiveness. They are really self-imposed boundaries, and the fears they express are exaggerated: he won’t actually die, and I really can handle it. People use these block to deflect the focus of the action and the responsibility onto the other: what the other person might think, feel or act. The speaker then, continues to act in the say old way: passive/aggressive.
Fears, Fears, Fears.
People block themselves from communicating effectively because of fears such as these.
Fears of taking responsibility for self.
Fear of taking risks.
Fear of telling their thoughts or feelings.
Fear of feelings: projections of feeling onto another.
Fears related to past experiences.
The most common blocks.
Blaming- people block themselves by blaming someone or something else. I’d be happier with my job if it weren’t for my boss or my body makes me feel like I wish I were dead, or you make me sad.
Inappropriate behavior. (it would be so rude). Using this block the speaker focuses on what is acceptable behavior: polite, nice. The speaker may avoid assertive behavior such as saying ”no” sharing information about feelings and thoughts or confronting others because it might be abrasive or pushy or crabby.
It’s harmful and wasteful. ( it’s more trouble than it’s worth). People often excuse themselves from being responsible by citing reasons why it’s not worth the trouble. They might contend that it’s harmful. ”I don’t want to hurt my Father.” or it’s a waste of time. My boss has better things to do with her time than worry about how I feel. Some people contend that being assertive, in some situations, doesn’t work. ”i start asserting myself, he’ll just stop listening to me. I’ll be worse off than I am now.
Fear of rejection ( He’ll never talk to me again). A common reason some speakers cite for not being assertive is that they may be personally rejected by the other. ” He’ll laugh in my face” or ”She’ll never listen to what I have to say.”
Fear of a response (Who know what she’ll do?) People who use this block focus on how the other person will react, and often foresee drastic consequences. ” (He’ll never speak to me again” or ”She’ll throw my clothes out into the street.
Fear of losing control (That’d be just too much.” Many speakers have a fear of losing control of themselves or of the other person. Some fear that if they’re assertive, they’ll lose control and cry, or get angry, or do something they’ll always regret. ”I might walk out.” Others fear that if they’re assertive they’ll lose their accustomed control over the other person. ”If I don’t tell him whom to work with on this project, he’ll pick the wrong people, and it’ll end up being a sloppy job.”
Fear that the other person can’t handle it. Some speakers assume that the other person cannot handle the information, and must be protected from the facts. ”He’s having a difficult time right now. That’ll just drive him over the edge or she’ll have a nervous breakdown.
Saying ”I don’t know how.” Often people excuse themselves from being assertive by saying I don’t know how to be assertive, this may meaning I don’t know and I don’t want to know or it may mean I don’t know how and really do- I just don’t want to talk about it. A very common version is this one: I don’t understand what you mean by feelings. The I DON’T KNOW block withholds information, puts the other person down, and sets the speakers apart from the listener.