Note: See “Exercise Files” tab for handout.
We often approach the conversation about assertiveness when we are talking about conflict with others. And as conflict resolution specialists, Ali and I generally teach from that perspective. And while that will be part of this conversation, the main objective of the Values Based Living or VBL series is to use values to create a relationship with ourselves.
So as we go through this course today, I am going to be challenging you to redirect your focus from the conflict outside of you, with other people, and to focus instead on the internal alignment. We are going to spend this time together learning the skills of assertiveness with the overall goal of being assertive with ourselves and then with others.
The VBL Assertive Communication Formula it’s a combination of deep self knowledge plus your values plus assertive skills that we are going to use to pull this all together today.
To get us started you are going to begin with recalling your top values.
Think back to the core values that you identified in the Know Your Values course. You wrote out your top values in the different life areas. Now if some time has passed since that course, it’s possible that those values are the same and it’s possible that they have evolved since then.
Pull out those top values and write them down. Choose one of those values and record a brief description of a time when this value has been frustrated because you DIDN’T advocate for it to be met.
Pause the video here while you do that.
Choose another value (or the same one) and briefly describe when you HAVE met this value by advocating for it to be met. If you can’t think of any examples, think of a time when you saw someone else assert their values.
Consider the example that you recorded for when one of your values was frustrated because you didn’t advocate for it to be met. How did you feel? How did your body react? Was your sleep impacted? What did your brain do in the following days? (is there a connection to anxiety, insomnia, obsessive thoughts?)
Pause the recording here and record any thoughts you have.
Now consider the example that you recorded for when one of your values was satisfied because you DID advocate for it to be met.
Again, If you can’t think of any examples, think of a time when you saw someone else assert their values. What were the words that were used? What evidence do you have that they were assertive? What was the reaction or what was the result? How did it feel in the moment? How did your body react? What did your brain do? Looking back, how does it feel?