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Free Accusing Versus Assertive Language Handout / SEL Poster



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This freebie is a reminder that sometimes I-messages can be tricky because they can often come off as blaming and accusatory. Just because a sentence starts with “I” does not make it an assertive, non-defensive I-message.

Assertiveness means expressing your point of view in a way that is clear and direct, while still respecting others. It’s the ability to express both positive and negative ideas and feelings in an open way. You can tell the other person how you feel, as honestly as you can, while remembering to listen to what they say as well. Communicating in an assertive manner can actually work to minimize conflict while also making room for compromise. Having your needs better met while increasing the likelihood of strengthening relationships can be self-esteem boosting.

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