With Christmas coming up, in-laws coming to stay and Christmas parties to go to, assertiveness can be a great way to think and act to improve relationships. We learn to respect relationships and create win win solutions.
To be able to be assertive we need to firstly be aware of our body language and tone. There is no use saying all the right things if the tone sounds aggressive or you start pointing your finger. Keep your tone positive and your body language open.
The next thing you need to be aware of are your habitual reactions. Instead of reacting unconsciously you need to think before you react. The best way to do this is to think what outcome you want from the situation. Do you want to keep and improve the relationship? If so you need to choose your reaction accordingly. You might need to think about how they want to be treated and modify your behaviour accordingly. So when your in laws leave what do you want them to say?
How could you influence your in-laws? What kind of things do they like to do? Do they like to take control in the kitchen but it drives you mad? If so give them a project to do that they can be in control of. Do they like to be made a fuss of and don't help out with the things to do? Ask them if they'd be willing to help with one thing - tell them before they come what it is. Then you make time to make a fuss of them when they least expect it.
So what is assertiveness? Assertiveness is when you aim for both sides to win. You have to listen out and ask what a win looks like and feels like for them. Know what a win feels like and looks like for you and then take steps to compromise so you both get as clear to your outcome as you can. Happy Christmas to you all!