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Thought for Sep 2018

The Four Basic Styles of Communication

1. PASSIVE COMMUNICATION is a style in which individuals have developed a pattern of avoiding expressing their opinions or feelings, protecting their rights, and identifying and meeting their needs. As a result, passive individuals do not respond overtly to hurtful or anger-inducing situations. Instead, they allow grievances and annoyances to mount, usually unaware of the buildup. But once they have reached their high tolerance threshold for unacceptable behavior, they are prone to explosive outbursts, which are usually out of proportion to the triggering incident. After the outburst, however, they may feel shame, guilt, and confusion, so they return to being passive.

Passive communicators will often:
 fail to assert for themselves
 allow others to deliberately or inadvertently infringe on their rights  fail to express their feelings, needs, or opinions
 tend to speak softly or apologetically
 exhibit poor eye contact and slumped body posture

The impact of a pattern of passive communication is that these individuals:
 often feel anxious because life seems out of their control
 often feel depressed because they feel stuck and hopeless
 often feel resentful (but are unaware of it) because their needs are not being met  often feel confused because they ignore their own feelings

 are unable to mature because real issues are never addressed

A passive communicator will say, believe, or behave like:  “I’m unable to stand up for my rights.”
 “I don’t know what my rights are.”
 “I get stepped on by everyone.”

 “I’m weak and unable to take care of myself.”  “People never consider my feelings.”

2. AGGRESSIVE COMMUNICATION is a style in which individuals express their feelings and opinions and advocate for their needs in a way that violates the rights of others. Thus, aggressive communicators are verbally and/or physically abusive.

Aggressive communicators will often:  try to dominate others
 use humiliation to control others  criticize, blame, or attack others  be very impulsive

 have low frustration tolerance
 speak in a loud, demanding, and overbearing voice  act threateningly and rudely
 not listen well
 interrupt frequently
 use “you” statements

This resource is provided by the UK Violence Intervention and Prevention Center

 have an overbearing or intimidating posture
The impact of a pattern of aggressive communication is that these individuals:
 become alienated from others
 alienate others
 generate fear and hatred in others
 always blame others instead of owning their issues, and thus are unable to mature

The aggressive communicator will say, believe, or behave like:  “I’m superior and right and you’re inferior and wrong.”
 “I’m loud, bossy and pushy.”
 “I can dominate and intimidate you.”

 “I can violate your rights.”
 “I’ll get my way no matter what.”  “You’re not worth anything.”
 “It’s all your fault.”
 “I react instantly.”
 “I’m entitled.”
 “You owe me.”
 “I own you.”

3. PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE COMMUNICATION is a style in which individuals appear passive on the surface but are really acting out anger in a subtle, indirect, or behind-the-scenes way. People who develop a pattern of passive-aggressive communication usually feel powerless, stuck, and resentful – in other words, they feel incapable of dealing directly with the object of their resentments. Instead, they express their anger by subtly undermining the object (real or imagined) of their resentments.

Passive-Aggressive communicators will often:
 mutter to themselves rather than confront the person or issue
 have difficulty acknowledging their anger
 use facial expressions that don’t match how they feel – i.e., smiling when angry  use sarcasm
 deny there is a problem
 appear cooperative while purposely doing things to annoy and disrupt
 use subtle sabotage to get even

The impact of a pattern of passive-aggressive communication is that these individuals:  become alienated from those around them
 remain stuck in a position of powerlessness (like POWs)
 discharge resentment while real issues are never addressed so they can’t mature

The passive-aggressive communicator will say, believe, or behave like:
 “I’m weak and resentful, so I sabotage, frustrate, and disrupt.”
 “I’m powerless to deal with you head on so I must use guerilla warfare.”  “I will appear cooperative but I’m not.”

This resource is provided by the UK Violence Intervention and Prevention Center

4. ASSERTIVE COMMUNICATION is a style in which individuals clearly state their opinions and feelings, and firmly advocate for their rights and needs without violating the rights of others. These individuals value themselves, their time, and their emotional, spiritual, and physical needs and are strong advocates for themselves while being very respectful of the rights of others.

Assertive communicators will:
 state needs and wants clearly, appropriately, and respectfully  express feelings clearly, appropriately, and respectfully
 use “I” statements
 communicate respect for others
 listen well without interrupting
 feel in control of self
 have good eye contact
 speak in a calm and clear tone of voice
 have a relaxed body posture
 feel connected to others
 feel competent and in control
 not allow others to abuse or manipulate them
 stand up for their rights

The impact of a pattern of assertive communication is that these individuals:
 feel connected to others
 feel in control of their lives
 are able to mature because they address issues and problems as they arise  create a respectful environment for others to grow and mature

The assertive communicator will say, believe, or behave in a way that says:
 “We are equally entitled to express ourselves respectfully to one another.”  “I am confident about who I am.”
 “I realize I have choices in my life and I consider my options.”
 “I speak clearly, honestly, and to the point.”
 “I can’t control others but I can control myself.”
 “I place a high priority on having my rights respected.”
 “I am responsible for getting my needs met in a respectful manner.”
 “I respect the rights of others.”
 “Nobody owes me anything unless they’ve agreed to give it to me.”
 “I’m 100% responsible for my own happiness.”

Assertiveness allows us to take care of ourselves, and is fundamental for good mental health and healthy relationships.

 

 

Author: Jill • Filed under: Featured, Narrative Matters • Posted: September 2, 2018 6:59 pm

Thought for Spring 2018

 

When I think of Spring I think of new beginnings, change, possibility.

What  change do you want to make this year?

What qualities would you like to grow this year?

In making the change what possibility does this open up for you ?

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Jill • Filed under: Featured • Posted: March 12, 2018 11:21 am

Thought for October- intolerable feelings

Most people dislike feeling uncomfortable. There are many different ways that humans can feel uncomfortable…we can be hot, cold, tired, in pain, hungry, unwell, and the list could go on.

I want to say something about  emotional discomfort, or what is often called distress. We may not like it, but experiencing uncomfortable emotions is a natural part of life.

However, there is a difference between disliking unpleasant emotions, but nevertheless accepting that they are an inevitable part of life and hence riding through them, versus experiencing unpleasant emotions as unbearable and needing to get rid of them. Some people tell us that they “can’t face”, “can’t bear”, “can’t stand”, or “can’t tolerate” emotional distress. Being intolerant of experiencing emotional discomfort can actually breed a whole bunch of problems, as it interferes with living a fulfilling life, and can make worse any emotional discomfort we might be experiencing. If difficulty facing your feeling so tolerating distress sounds like you, then here is a resource that you will find useful .

Modules:

  • Module 1: Understanding Distress Intolerance
    This module defines what is meant by distress intolerance, and provides general information about negative emotions.  It considers how our negative beliefs about distress and the methods we use to escape our distress, keep distress intolerance a problem in the long term.  PDF document: 352kb. Updated 8 June 2012.

     

  • Module 2: Accepting Distress
    This module highlights the importance of negative emotions to our survival, and that our emotions are not permanent but are ever changing experiences.  The module focuses on learning to tolerate distress by accepting our negative emotions, which is a skill one can develop via mindfulness practice. PDF document: 277kb. Updated 8 June 2012.

     

  • Module 3: Improving Distress
    This module explores ways you can improve your distress, by acting opposite to your urge to escape the distress, and participating in activities that are either activating or soothing. Guidance on how to solve problems that may be causing distress is also addressed.  PDF document: 332kb. Updated 8 June 2012.

     

  • Module 4: Tolerating Distress
    This final module brings the strategies from this information package together by developing an individualised Distress Tolerance Action Plan.  Ways of regularly applying this plan are reviewed, with the aim of developing a sense of emotional wellbeing. PDF document: 326kb. Updated 8 June 2012.

 

 

Author: Jill • Filed under: Featured • Posted: October 13, 2017 4:09 pm

About Strokes: Warm Fuzzies and Cold Pricklies

What is a Stroke?

A stroke is an act by someone else that lets you know they are there.

Dr. Calude Steiner , in a book called  ” A Warm Fuzzy Tale” names pleeasant strokes ” Warm Fuzzies” because you feel warm and fuzzy all over when you get one.  He calls unpleasent strokes ” cold pricklies”

An example of a warm fuzzy :

touch

hello

a compliment

a warm and friendly look

a smile

What we say and the way we look at each other as well as the way we touch each other can all be pleasant strokes(Warm Fuzzies)

The very best strokes (Warm Fuzzies)are the ones you don’t have to earn – the strokes you get from people important to you  just for being . These are free strokes .  These strokes are not only for being good, smart or winning  but just for being you .

Strokes are vital to your physical and mental health and you need them every day to be healthy and happy


Author: Jill • Filed under: Featured, Narrative Matters • Posted: May 13, 2017 6:52 pm

Passivity

Passive Behaviours

The Schiffs identified four behaviours that were particularly passive.

Passive behaviour 1 – Doing Nothing

You can’t get much more passive than doing nothing eh?! Well as the Schiff’s see it there are two ways in which you can do nothing. The first way is to have a problem and then to passively not respond to that problem. Imagine a rabbit in the headlights sort of scenario. Quite often when people are in this place they say “I can’t think” or “I’m confused” – a survival response clicks in.
If you are doing nothing in this way it is likely that you will feel uncomfortable and anyone who attempts to help you with this is likely to get dragged in and end up doing nothing too.

The second way of doing nothing is not passive behavior. You can decide to do nothing. This is from an Adult place and there is an active decision to do nothing. In this scenario you will probably not feel uncomfortable because you have taken action. The action you have taken is to decide to do nothing!

Passive behaviour 2 – Over Adaptation

Over adaptation is when you do not work out what your goal is when attempting to solve a problem but instead you try to achieve what you believe is somebody else’s goal.

Here is an example. Frankie and Benny are deciding what to see at the cinema.

Problem: Which film to go and see.

Frankie’s response: “I’m not at all bothered – I guess you would like to see the Cowboy film so let’s go see that”

Benny’s response: “Yep – I would like to see that film so if you are happy let’s do that.”

Only Frankie hates cowboy films and spends the next hour and a half feeling very annoyed that he has to sit through one.

Frankie’s over adaptation was very hard to detect because he made no indication of what he wanted to do. As a result he had to suffer a film he knew he would dislike. If he had been more active in the decision about what film they both saw and discussed it he would have found out that Benny also loves Science Fiction and would have been happy to see the new Star wars movie that Frankie really wanted to see.

Passive behaviour 3 – Agitation

When we feel agitated we do things that are pointless and have nothing to do with the goal we are trying to achieve. We usually feel uncomfortable and confused.

We behave this way because we are defending the symbiosis we have formed with another against a threat . We know we could solve our problem by taking action but we just don’t feel adequate enough to grab the bull by the horns and do it.

What’s also can be present is the belief that what we are doing is actually achieving something.

The agitated person needs another individual to step in and give clear instructions as to what to do. This restores them to a overadapted place which is far less serious. The difficulty with agitation is that if it is not dealt with it can esculate into the next stage of passive behaviour: violence.

Passive behaviour 4 – Violence or Incapacitation

When I read this stage I couldn’t get my head round how violence was passive behaviour – surely it’s the ultimate in doing something right? Wrong, when we become violent we actually change nothing. It is the release of energy built up from passivity.

Violence does not require thinking and no responsibility is taken for it. Just think of the way people describe their violence after the event;

“He made me so mad I couldn’t help myself hitting him”
“I punched the wall because I was so frustrated”

Quite often after the violence, once all of the energy has been released and they have calmed down, the person is quite able to have a rational conversation about what happened.

Violence is a grandiose act and really buys into the idea that “I can’t stand it any more” – a great example of a passive statement.

How can knowing all of this help me?

I think the first benefit of knowing this information is being able to identify passive behavior in yourself. If you can identify that you are acting passively then you can decide (make an active decision) whether you want to continue doing this or act differently.

In order to do this you may find it useful to track your feelings about a situation. Your feelings hold the key to what is going on. It may go something like this:

I feel ill at ease about something that is going on in my life.

I sit for a minute or two and just track my feelings. What am I feeling? Where am I feeling it (in my body)? Is this a common feeling that reminds me of something from my past?

If the feeling is agitation then does this have something to do with inaction? Am I feeling very angry? Do I feel like I want to hit something (or someone)? Do I feel like I’m completely stuck and can do nothing?

If the angry feelings are there then the first step is to do something to expend that energy somewhere else and prevent an explosion. You might do this by going for a walk, taking yourself to the cinema, listening to calming music or whatever else you know will calm you down. The same can be said about agitation, which is you being on the verge of violence or incapacitation.

Once you have done this and your brain is more able to think logically about your situation. See if you can identify one single thing that you can do that will help your situation. This will move you away from passivity to action and may help shift the block that you feel. If you can’t even do this then it may be that you need help and advice from someone trained in this area. A therapist or counsellor should be able to help you look at your passive behaviours and facilitate decision making.

Recognise any of the passive behaviours mentioned?

How has this post impacted on you?  Do you see which passive behaviours you mostly carry out?  Have you got some great ideas for moving yourself out of passivity?  Please leave your comments about passive behaviours below.

 

Author: Jill • Filed under: Featured, Narrative Matters • Posted: January 3, 2017 10:45 am

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