Assertiveness Skills | Chronic Pain Support Group


assertiveness skillsAre you thinking about changing something?

We all think about what we would like to change, however making changes is hard for most of us to do.  It’s tough to keep moving forward while keeping yourself motivated. It’s also tough to express what you want to change effectively. What I find amazing is that we all have the ability to change the things in our life we want to change. Outside of erasing our pain, we get to choose what we change, when we change it and how we change it! The key is identifying our strengths and weaknesses and conveying to others through communication what we want to change. That is why when you are wanting to make changes, assertiveness training can be very helpful.

Often people living with chronic pain can get worn down and tend to lose their confidence and become more fearful. When your confidence is low it is hard to express yourself clearly. When you can’t express yourself clearly you can become frustrated. That is why assertiveness training is often offered during a multi-disciplinary approach for managing chronic pain. Learning to become more assertive can help you communicate more clearly and easily. Being assertive can also help you feel more confident, self assured, positive, and practical. After all, the definition of assertiveness is characterized by displaying confident statements and behavior.

Making Changes

Remember, change doesn’t occur overnight. If you are considering making some changes, start off with a making of list of what you want to change. After you compile that list, make a list of of all of your good habits and your strengths so you can carry them with you when you start making some of the changes on your list. I know sometimes in the past, I have been resistant to change. When this happened, I would reflect on my attitude or how accepting I was in making the change to identify how I could improve how I felt about it. So, it may be helpful for you to ask yourself how you feel about making the change. Are you resisting it or are you afraid of making it.

The most important thing in being successful in making changes is to have a clear idea of what you want to change and how you are going to accomplish it. Also remember that the quality of your day to day living can be improved by change.

Tips for Assertiveness and Good Communication

Below are some tips for assertiveness and communication from NAPP Pharmaceuticals that I found in one of their guides to helping individuals in managing their pain.

  • Think about what you want to say and make sure your message is clear. In other words, say what you mean.
  • Try not to complain or be overly apologetic when talking.
  • Try to remain calm and try not to shout or raise your voice.
  • If you are asking someone to do something, don’t tell them what to do, explain to them why you are asking them for help. It’s better to say I want and I don’t want then I need and I can not.
  • Always remember it is okay to change your mind.

Remember, change is usually a good thing! Relax, think about it, and take the time you need to express yourself clearly.