Assertive communication can sometimes feel like a big box of chocolates.
As in…when you leave the conversation or meeting and you think of a ton of things to “add” later. Don’t you hate that?
This happened to me last week. I was actually on the phone in a pretty uncomfortable situation (I really never expected) and I said a lot more than I actually would have ever said in previous conversations like it (which are rare to none).
I walked away from that intense convo proud of myself, yet completely wishing I would’ve said ____________ and ____________ and _________________ and ____________, and don’t forget ____________!
Good God, can I EVER get everything out, or must I always think of things to add to the conversation when I leave?
Sometimes it’s so utterly frustrating!
Now, we all know people like this – so I can’t speculate as to whether or not it’s specifically an introverted trait. However, most introverts I know do this – a lot.
It is frustrating, no doubt. It would be nice if we could just think of all necessary additions, opinions, two cents, and ideas in one sitting. But, let’s get real – it’s rare for us. I do it constantly.
So, in light of this fact, let’s embrace who we are and do something about it. The beauty of assertive communication is that it’s not cookie cutter. If I sit down to draft a communication or assertiveness plan for you, it will look totally different than if I sat down and drafted one for one of your colleagues, family members, or friends.
What that means is that you don’t have to have all the answers in the meeting or have your points all laid out for the confrontation.
In fact, I’m willing to bet you struggle getting your thoughts together in this type of conflict. And the reason you do is because you are a deep individual who has layers to her. Your emotions and introvert personality call for you to soak things up and let them sink in. Often, being approached on the spot can make you feel bombarded or ill-prepared.
If you’re anything like me, you walk away feeling disappointed in yourself that you weren’t more assertive, resentful you didn’t get to say everything you wanted to say, and upset you might not have the chance to later.
So….while I cannot (and wouldn’t want to) change who you are or your introvert personality, I can help you and equip you to know there’s an “out” next time this happens to you. There’s ways you can re-open a conversation that, to the other person, might as well be closed.
Assertive communication doesn’t discriminate extrovert or introvert.
So, just because you walk away from the conversation doesn’t mean you can’t revisit it just the same. Your personality calls for you to be able to spend time with the content, conflict or convo before responding in detail and have ample time to craft a response worthy of you. If the other party doesn’t want to re-open the conversation, then you can’t force it, but for all intents & purposes, you have every right to ask.
To that end, if you’re reading this and you’re not an introverted woman, you can still feel free to use the scripts below to help you if you find them useful.
5 Scripts for When You’re Done With the Conversation (But You’ve Got So Much More To Say)
Script 1: Family Member
“Hey ____________, I love you and I’m so glad we got a chance to talk about _____________ the other day. I’ve had some time to really think about what you said, and I wanted to know if you were okay to talk about it one more time. I have some questions and added thoughts, and it’s important to me we really hear each other on this.”
Script 2: Friend
“Hi __________. I’m SO glad you and I had a talk the other day about __________. I’ve been thinking about what you said about ___________, but I only want to discuss it if you’re cool re-opening the conversation – it’s taken me a few days to really process what was shared that day.” Is it okay with you for me to bring it up again?
Script 3: Boss or co-worker
“___________, do you think we could have a one-off conversation about what we discussed a few days ago? I’ve had time to gather some added thoughts and ideas I feel could be valuable to that conversation. I would appreciate one more meeting just to make sure I have clarity and understanding point forward.”
Script 4: Spouse
“[Pet Name or First Name], I’ve been thinking about our conversation the other day concerning ___________, and I have some more thoughts on it. It’s taken me some time to really wrap my head around it and some more things came to me. Are you okay to talk about it again?”
Script 5: Someone you just met…
“___________. Having just met you, I’m glad we got a chance to talk about ______________ recently. I have the kind of personality where sometimes it takes me a few days to really think about conversations I’ve had, depending on what they’re about, so there’s some things I thought of later I wanted to share with you. Would you be up for that?”
Now, before I let you go, there’s a few rules about assertive communication I wanted to address and show you that I’m not breaking:
- No apologies – notice in the scripts that “I’m sorry” isn’t found in even one. This is because it would be a big assertiveness rule breaker. Do not apologize for who you are, what you need, or what you desire. The worst thing they can say is “no, I’m not up for it” or “no, I’d rather not.” In which case, you’d politely thank them for letting you ask, walk away, and let it go (which is another blog post for another time).
- No beating around the bush – short, sweet, and straight to the point is best with this. There’s really no middle ground here – they’ll either be good with it or not.
Now, I’d love to hear from you…
Have you had, or can you think of, a situation or situations where these scripts could be really useful? Can you think of a time when you could have really used one or more of these?
I’d love you to share.
Thank you for reading, sharing, and being in my life!