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Flashcards in Professional Communication Q0 Deck (39):

Ways stress affects the human Organism

Biological (body) ex:headache, anorexia, insomnia

Psychological (mind) ex: worry, anxiety, lack of concentration

Interpersonal (emotions to stress) ex: anger, impatience, irritability

Sociocultural (from different cultural aspects) ex: clam up, every culture acts differently


interpersonal definition?

of or relating to the interactions between individuals


Stress definition?

a state of disequilibrium that occurs when there is a disharmony between demands occurring within an individual’s internal or external environment and his or her ability to cope with those demands


What is Interpersonal stress?

is the tension you experience when you interact with a person who is behaving in a manner you find unpleasant.


Common Interpersonal Stressors?

Commands (orders)


Criticism (constructive feedback)

Unresponsiveness (silent treatment)

Depression (decrease in emotional state)

Impulsivity (sudden/inappropriate behaviour)

Affection (can be uncomfortable to some)

Making mistakes

Sexual content



Reducing Interpersonal Stress… HOW?

Positive Coping statements


Covert Rehearsal


Positive Coping Statements?

When you find yourself thinking irrational thoughts about a situation, remind yourself to use positive coping statements

Think to yourself some general positive coping statements and any specific coping statements that might apply to the situation

Repeat the statements until you feel calmer


**Positive Coping Statement examples?

I can do this
I can cope with this
It’s not so terrible
I can stand it
Everything is going to be alright


what is Desensitization?

Is a technique for assisting individuals to overcome their fear of a stressor.


**how does one exhibit desensitization?

Individual is taught to relax and then asked to imagine various components of the stressor on a graded hierarchy, moving from what produces the least fear to that which produces the most.


what is Covert Rehearsal?

Technique in which you imagine yourself successfully coping with your stressor


**how does one practice covert rehearsal?

Identify what it is that you would like to say and do in the stressful situation you expect to encounter.

Imagine yourself in the stressful situation saying and doing exactly what you want.

Imagine yourself receiving a positive response from the stressor (s).


3 stress reduction techniques?

1. positive coping techniques
2. desensitization
3. covert rehearsal


what is Assertive Behaviour?

“Assertive behavior promotes equality* in human relationships, enabling* us to act in our own best interests, to stand up for ourselves with undue anxiety, to express honest* feelings comfortably, to exercise personal rights without denying the rights of others.”

(sticking up for others) (being inappropriately direct)


what are behavioural characteristics of assertion?

Stand up for own rights

Protect rights of others


Direct (KISS)



goals of assertion?

To communicate effectively

To be respected by others


**verbal characteristics of assertiveness?

Statement of wants, objective words,
** “I” messages, honest statement of feelings.


**non-verbal characteristics of assertiveness?

Confident, congruent messages

Voice: Firm, warm, confident

eyes: Warm , frank

stance: relaxed

hands: gestures at appropriate times


Aggressive Behaviour?

Aggression is a behaviour intended to threaten or injure the victim’s security or self-esteem. It means “to go against”, “to assault” or “to attack”. It is a response that aims at inflicting pain or injury on objects or persons. Whether the damage is caused by words, fists, or weapons, the behavior is virtually always designed to punish. It is frequently accompanied by bitterness, meanness, and ridicule. An aggressive person is often vengeful”

behaviour intended to threaten or injure the victim’s security or self-esteem


*verbal characteristics of aggressive behaviour?

Loaded words, accusations, vague superior, haughty words, “you” that label the other person.

(towards others)


*non-verbal characteristics of aggressive behaviour?

Flipp messages and, sarcastic style, air of superiority

Voice: Tense, shrill, loud, cold, deadly quiet, demanding, superior, authoritarian

eyes: Expressionless, cold, narrowed, starring

stance: Hands on hip , feet apart

hands: Abrupt gestures, fists pounding or clenched


Non-assertive Behaviour (passive)?

Individuals who are non-assertive (sometimes called passive) seek to please others at the expense of denying their own basic human rights.

They seldom let their true feelings show and often feel hurt and anxious because they allow others to choose for them. They seldom achieve their desired goals.


*verbal non-assertive Behavior characteristics?

Apologetic words, hedging, rambling, failing to say what is meant.


*non-verbal non-assertive Behavior characteristics?

Actions instead of words (you do not say what you feel), looking as though you do not mean what you say.

Voice: Weak, distant, soft, wavering

eyes: Averted, downcast, teary, pleading

stance: Stooped, excessive leaning for support

hands: Fidgety, clammy


3 types of behaviours?

1. assertive
2. non-assertive (passive)
3. aggressive

* passive-aggressive: there is an action which displays aggression


Question: You haven't taken a vacation for a while, and have one planned for next week. Your company gets a new project and they need you. It's time sensitive and, of course, they want your help during the two weeks you'll be on vacation. You:

1) Go on your vacation as scheduled, but tell them they can call you a few times while you're gone if they need your input or help. Then answer their calls once every day or two.

2) Postpone your vacation until the project is over. You've waited this long, and it's not worth the company suffering so you can be gone at a specific time. (passive)

Tell them they need to get by without your help for the next two weeks. You're entitled to a break, and this is really not your problem. (aggressive)

4) Go on your vacation as scheduled, but tell them they can call you a few times while you're gone if they need your input or help. Then 'forget' to answer your cell phone. (passive-aggressive)


Question: You go to dinner at your favorite restaurant. Your waiter brings your food after a very long wait, and the food is cold. You:

1) Say nothing. Everyone has a bad night now and then, and besides, you don’t want to risk having the waiter spit in your food. (passive)

2) Tell the waiter that this is unacceptable and ask what they can do to make things right. (assertive)

3) Say nothing, but leave a ridiculously small tip. (passive-aggressive)

4) Tell the waiter how incompetent you think he is, complain to the manager about the lousy service, and demand that the food be free. (aggressive)


Types of Assertive Skills?

1.Being Confrontative exhibits negative emotions
2.Saying “no” exhibits negative emotions

3. Making Requests emotionally neutral
4. Expressing opinions emotionally neutral

5.Initiating Conversation positive emotions
6.Self-Disclosing positive emotions
7.Expressing Affection positive emotions


what is Confrontation?

Confrontation is the assertive skill of pointing out to someone his/her aggressive behavior.


what is important to remember when confronting someone?

When confronting someone it is important to deliver an “ I” message.
ie. “I am upset as you are not listening… it makes be feel like you don't care about the situation and I am getting up with you

ie. “I will not accept this behaviour… because I deserve to be respected and if your attitude doesn't change I will not come to the meeting anymore


WHat does “I” Confrontation facilitate?

Facilitates constructive communication
Use “I” confrontations only with people you care about and who care about you.


WHat does “I” Confrontation contain?

Contains these components:
1. A description of the undesirable behaviour
2. Consequences of the behaviour
3. A feeling description/statement

I _____ + undesirable behaviour + consequence + description of feeling

use with people you care about/who care about you



Keep It Short and Simple


kiss example

Assuming responsibility for one’s own statements

“I do not want to go out with you tonight”
“I can’t go out with you tonight”


kiss example

Agreeing Assertively

Ms.Jones: “you sure let the meeting get out of hand.What a waste of time.”

Ms.Smith: “Yes, I didn’t do a very good job of conducting the meeting today.”


Common Assertion Blocks?

Interfering irrational ideal/belief

Fear of rejection
Fear of imperfection ( in self)
Intolerance of imperfection in others


What are some stressors?

life changes and strains (divorce, marriage, death, having kids, change of job)

catastrophic events (tsunami)

daily hassles (traffic, driving)

chronic stressors (finances, relationships)

#1 stressor: death of a child, because it is not part of the "normal" cycle of life


Stress mediatiors?

cognitive appraisal


social support

sense of control

coping methods/resources


Stress reactions?

physical (throwing things)

emotional (angry)

cognitive (not able to concentrate when stressed)

behavioural (act out by throwing things)