Aggression, Assertiveness, or Passiveness?
Aggression is exerting too much power and passiveness is not exercising enough power. Neither is favorable in the promotion of mental health. A middle road is best but what is it?
It’s called assertiveness.
Assertiveness is taking action to let others know your feelings without being aggressive. It’s a way to express emotions while maintaining respect for yourself and others. Quality assertiveness is a learned skill.
Instruction is the easy part. Most people can be shown to do just about anything. I can be shown how to shoot a three-pointer,but this doen’t mean that I’ll actually be able to do it. Something more than just mere instruction must occur- this is where practice and repetition become important.
I have developed a technique to help clients practice assertiveness skills. Learning the structure of being assertive is easy; the hard part is remembering how to do it when you are mad, upset, and want to revert to old habits. This technique helps others to learn assertiveness through teaching the structure of the technique in a repetitive, but fun, way.
The basic structure of the assertiveness skill is fairly simple. It’s just challenging to remember when feeling upset. I have attached a technique that uses the structure of Mad Libs to engrain assertiveness skills. This technique was chosen byLiana Lowenstein as her May technique of the month on her website (some of you may recognize the format from her books).
Remember, showing someone a skill is easy. Only with practice and repetition can real learning take place.
Please click on the link below to download the activity. I have added a seperate link of an example using feeling words and the different parts of speech for further instruction. Feel free to add this technique to your collection of fun therapeutic activities!