The Positive Psychology of Buddhism and Yoga: Paths to a Mature Happiness

By Marvin Levine | Go to book overview

29
Empathic Assertiveness as Right Speech

Usually, an interpersonal problem takes the form that, from your pointof view, the other person is doing something wrong and is creating the problem for you. As we just discussed, talking with the other person is a useful first step. This solution, however, requires criticizing the other person. One of the concerns of assertiveness training is how to give criticism so that the problem is solved with minimal side effects.

When we criticize another person, our aim is to win his or her cooperation in bringing about the solution. How can we best evoke a cooperative attitude from the other person? Several principles have emerged and are routinely taught for achieving this. Let's review the most important of these principles.

1. Presenting Yourself . This concerns not what you say, but rather how you say it. The basic recommendations are: (a) Maintain good eye contact; look at the person in an informal conversational style; (b) Use a good voice; speak to be understood using an audible but not loud voice.

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