Hi Wunmi, Hi Tunde!
Hey Nike, what’s up?
Nothing much.
But why are you looking down?
Well, can I confide in you guys?
Sure, no qualms!
Well it’s my friend Farouk; he keeps asking me out and not listening to me when I say I don’t have any interest in him. He’s always touching me and trying to hug or kiss me, and it makes me really uncomfortable.
What did you do the last time he tried it?
I yelled “NO” and slapped him across the face.
That was too aggressive!
When you demand what you want without listening to the other person’s point of view or considering their wants, needs or rights, you are communicating aggressively.
I know, but it’s so frustrating! My friend Laide told me that I should have just kept quiet and hoped that he would change his mind.
What Laide is telling you to do is to be passive. Being passive rarely gets you what you want.
Being passive means not expressing your needs and feelings or expressing them so weakly that they would neither be understood nor addressed.
He even tried to lure me into dating him by telling me that we’d go as friends to meet some other people at the movies, but then there was no one else there! He was trying to manipulate me.
Manipulate!!! That doesn’t sound good!
Manipulation is when someone tries to trick or coerce you into doing what they want, regardless of how you feel about it.
So what should I do?
Try being assertive. Assertiveness involves being clear and consistent about what you want.
I know, I thought I was doing that. But then I lost my patience and got violent.
Assertiveness is standing up for one’s rights without violating the rights of other people.
You can try to talk to him one more time. Tell him that you’re not interested in dating him; and that if he keeps asking you and making you uncomfortable you won’t even want to be friends anymore. If he values your friendship, he’ll accept it.
It is important to be assertive, and not aggressive, passive or manipulative because: - You can get what you want while earning respect. - It promotes friendship. - It gives a sense of fulfillment.
And don’t forget it also increases one’s self esteem.
Oh that’s great!
Do you have some tips to improve my assertiveness skills?
Okay! Let me give you the ASSERT formula.
Attention -Get the other person to listen to you. Find the right time, wait for him or her to be able to focus on you.
Soon, Simple and short - Speak up when possible, as soon as your rights have been violated. Look the person in the eyes and keep comments to the point.
Specific behaviour -Focus on the behaviour that compromised your right and not the person. Tell the person exactly what behaviour disturbed you.
Effect on me - Share the feelings you experienced as a result of the person’s behaviour instead of using accusations. For example “I get angry when…, “I get frustrated when…,” NOT “You did ____ to me.”
Response -Describe, what would you like to see happen instead, and ask for some feedback on it.
Terms -If all goes well, you may come to a compromise. Even if no agreement is reached you would have asserted yourself with dignity.
What Farouk is doing isn’t fair, he isn’t being a good friend by refusing to listen to you when you tell him you’re not interested and he’s not respecting you. If it went much further, and you had not left the scene it might have led to rape.
We all need to know when and how to say no to someone, and we all need to know how to listen when someone says no to us.
Not only situations like Nike’s requires assertiveness, other situations like arguing with your siblings, deciding whether to take alcohol, the type of parties to go to, or the number of children to have also requires assertive skills..
Basically, any time you need to come to an agreement with someone on what you want or what you’re going to do, it helps to be assertive and respectful.
That’s true. Thanks a lot guys, you have made my day. I won’t forget to use the ASSERT formula!
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