Ilona L. Tobin, Ed.D.

Licensed Psychologist

Archive for the ‘Communication’ Category

DOWNLOAD THIS ARTICLE AND MORE AS A PDF FILE by clicking this link: Fall Newsletter 2010

There are no classes in life for beginners,” wrote poet Rainer Maria Rilke. “Right away you are always asked to deal with what is most difficult.”

Saying the hard thing can be one of the most difficult things we ever do. And for many of us, just thinking about doing it can cause worry, fear and stress. The good news is that getting these conversations right has more to do with planning and practice than saying “just the right thing.” And when we dare to broach these hard topics with other people, there are often hidden rewards.
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Asking for what you want—and setting boundaries around what you don’t want—is a key life skill. But sometimes in our enthusiasm to practice this skill, we over-do our own assertiveness and end up with a partner who shuts down, gets angry or feels resentful. Here are four tips for developing your assertiveness in a way that will actually strengthen, deepen and enrich your relationship—thus avoiding the “alienation trap.”
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