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Saying what you mean & Getting what you want (Communication styles)

In today’s age of instant messaging, we have more choices of ways to communicate, but misunderstandings can easily occur. A joke or sarcasm via text may be misinterpreted, often causing unnecessary tension in relationships. When communicating with others, your style may be seen as passive, aggressive, or assertive. Which way do you think will be most effective for both parties? Research shows that speaking clearly and assertively about what you think and what you would like, is most effective. One big point I consider important, is the benefit of taking the time to pause before responding, especially if feeling stressed. There is no harm in saying ‘let me consider that idea and get back to you’ or finding another way to negotiate. Being assertive means:

· Be prepared to pause or say no occasionally.

· Express your feelings, thoughts and needs.

· Make requests that are reasonable to others.

· Be prepared to stand up for your own rights.

For more specific ideas for young people, see Reach Out

When you begin to talk to someone, notice your own body tension first. Is it a good time to talk about a controversial topic now, or could another time be suggested?

Controlling emotions

How is it that some people seem to be calm all the time and others struggle to cope with changes and disappointments in life at times? Every person is different; however, we can learn the types of things people do that help keep people calm and build resilience. Some people call it regular ‘self care’ where you make time to either do things you enjoy, exercise or relax, or connect with others, there are many different pursuits that people enjoy – you just have to find which ones you like!

Information edited by Ann Cox, from a Reach Out article.

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