Have you ever complimented someone who ignored, deflected, or minimized
("Ah, I was just lucky, Anyone could've done that.")
Shame-based (wounded) people automatically diminish or "dodge" sincere praise because
narrow-focused subselves feel (a) it isn't deserved, and/or (b) accepting
the praise would risk big trouble (e.g. excessive guilt from having a "swelled head"
or "being "egotistical" or "self-centered."
This brief YouTube video offers perspective on what you're about to
to express genuine (vs.
dutiful or strategic)
praise that can't easily be shrugged off. For example:
when you got your friends to wash the dishes, put
them away, and take the trash out after your slumber party (specific
felt considered, respected, and relieved I didn't have to do those chores
(concrete effect on your
for your thoughtfulness!
If Maria tries to deflect, minimize, or nullify your praise ("Ah, no big
deal"), use empathic listening...
"You don't feel you all doing those courtesies are special."...
then patiently reassert your praise with friendly eye contact.
Notice the difference between this way of
expressing specific praise and saying something vague (or a negative compliment) like "Hey, thanks for not leaving
your usual mess!"
Experiment with asserting merited praise and affirmations - specially with
people who fear, distrust, or disrespect you - and notice what happens over
time. Three keys:
don't do this to "get something" (strategic, vs.
genuine praise), other than feeling good;
use steady eye contact, and...
don't expect satisfaction
unless your Self
other subselves and the other person is undistracted and can hear you
- i.e. their
"below their ears."
For more perspective, read about giving other people
feedback after you finish this article.
Notice with interest what your subselves are
saying now about learning to assert dodge-proof
praise and enjoying the results. Think of people you might like asserting
"dodge-proof" praise to now. Is there anything in the way of your
experimenting with doing so?
We've covered a lot here, so pause, reflect, and take a...
See where you stand now on these ideas. "T" = "true; "F" - false; and "?" = "I'm not
sure," or "it depends on (what?)"
I think of myself as an
assertive person now (T F ?)
I can clearly describe the
difference between assertion, aggression, and submission to an average
teenager now (T F
I can describe how assertion
relates to the skill of
problem-solving now. (T F ?)
I can name the
four kinds of
assertion now. (T F ?)
I can describe the
of an assertive "I" message, and the (common) alternative to "I"
messages. (T F ?)
I'm clear on the difference
request and a demand now. (T F ?)
I can clearly describe what an
boundary is to a typical pre-teen. (T F ?)
I regularly use my own
Personal Bill of Rights as the basis for my
assertions; or I'm evolving my Bill now, and learning to live
by it without guilt, anxiety, and/or shame. (T F ?)
(a) clearly define
empathic listening, and (b) I know how and when to use it in
my assertions. (T
(a) can describe what
R(espect) messages are, and I (b) know how they relate to making effective assertions (T
I'm intentionally coaching each
minor child in my life to be an effective asserter and communicator now (T
firmly motivated to
effectiveness of my assertions now; or if not, I know what's
in the way (T F ?)
true Self just answered these questions (T F ?)
Pause, breathe, and reflect - what are you aware of now?
The goals of
Lesson 2 are for your adults to
learn and adapt seven effective-communication
skills to your
personalities and communication
styles, and (b) each become fluent in
using the skills to improve
everyonefilling more of
primary needs effectively.
My unique, practical guidebook for Lesson 2
integrates the key Web materials here:
Satisfactions- 7 relationship skills you need to know (Xlibris.com, 2nd ed., 2010).
This article outlines one of seven powerful communication (relationship)
skills that every adult and child needs to become adept at: effective
assertion. Until people evolve fluency and confidence with these skills,
they're often submissive ("I'm 1-down"), or aggressive ("I'm 1-up") in
declaring their opinions, boundaries, and needs.
Effective assertion is essential for
win-win problem solving.
This two-page article proposes 8 specific steps for composing and delivering
effective assertions. Three keys to doing this are...
get very clear on what you
really need from the other person, and...
handle expected resistances with
respectful empathic listening + firm re-assertion, until you feel
heard well enough (vs. agreed with) or you shift into