The Guide to Compassionate Assertiveness: How to Express Your Needs and Deal with Conflict While Keeping a Kind Heart

Overview

Speaking up for yourself has benefits, but it has costs, too. Many people who struggle with assertiveness are paralyzed by worries that they’ll seem mean, petty, or that they will hurt the other person’s feelings. Even though they want to speak up, they may keep their true needs and opinions to themselves because of these fears—eventually building stress, resentment, and alienation. The Guide to Compassionate Assertiveness does not require that readers ignore the needs of others and focus solely on their own ...

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The Guide to Compassionate Assertiveness: How to Express Your Needs and Deal with Conflict While Keeping a Kind Heart

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Overview

Speaking up for yourself has benefits, but it has costs, too. Many people who struggle with assertiveness are paralyzed by worries that they’ll seem mean, petty, or that they will hurt the other person’s feelings. Even though they want to speak up, they may keep their true needs and opinions to themselves because of these fears—eventually building stress, resentment, and alienation. The Guide to Compassionate Assertiveness does not require that readers ignore the needs of others and focus solely on their own desires. Rather, this unique blend of cognitive behavioral therapy-based assertiveness training and Buddhist psychology helps readers practice assertiveness skills while caring deeply about the welfare of others.

This book helps readers develop a form of assertiveness that emphasizes collaboration, negotiation, and compromise. It focuses on speaking up for the benefit of others and speaking up for the relationship, not just one’s own needs. In this way, readers learn to assert their needs in ways that match their compassionate value systems. This book is the ideal assertiveness guide for those who are afraid of rejection, have a deep concern for how others perceive them, often feel judged by others, or have difficulty expressing their feelings and needs. Readers learn to apply assertiveness skills in all domains of their lives, including in romantic relationships, as parents, at work, and in social settings.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“In this book, Sherrie M. Vavrichek skillfully draws on cognitive behavioral therapy, Buddhist psychology and philosophy, and her own deep insight. The compassionate assertiveness approach offers powerful tools to grow beyond conflict strategies that no longer serve, without doing violence to oneself or others. Her book is a valuable contribution that will be a great help to many.”
—Sharon Salzberg, author of Real Happiness

“It’s (relatively) straightforward to be simply compassionate; the same goes for being assertive. But being both at the same time is a real challenge, even though that’s the sweet spot in significant relationships of any kind. Sherrie M. Vavrichek has done a remarkable job in offering heartfelt, solid, down-to-earth, and effective ways to occupy this sweet spot at home and work.”
—Rick Hanson, PhD, author of Buddha’s Brain

“In her accessible and deeply wise book, Sherrie M. Vavrichek teaches us how to communicate our truths in a way that serves understanding and connection. The mindfulness and skills at the center of this training can transform and heal not only individual relationships, but the fabric of our society.”
—Tara Brach, PhD, clinical psychologist, meditation teacher and author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge

“Well-written, thoughtful, and incredibly enlightening. This book adeptly weaves philosophy and psychology into an interpersonal approach that can have a major positive impact on anyone’s life.”
—Jon E. Grant, MD, professor of psychiatry at the University of Minnesota and author of Stop Me Because I Can’t Stop Myself

“As someone brought up on traditional assertiveness training, I have to say that Sherrie M. Vavrichek’s book brings a newer, much better and more usable approach to helping people with problems in this area. It is a thoughtful, well-written gem, and a genuine resource. I can truly see myself recommending this to my own patients.”
—Fred Penzel, PhD, author of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders and The Hair-Pulling Problem

The Guide to Compassionate Assertiveness is a joyously practical marriage of Western psychotherapy and Eastern wisdom. Clearly written with many helpful examples, it presents valuable skills that sensitive people need in dealing with the world.”
—Kate Berg, PhD, geneticist, writer and yoga instructor at Quiet Willow Studio in Silver Spring, MD

“As a therapist/healer I found Vavrichek’s book inspiring. This unique approach of blending Buddhist principles and cognitive behavioral strategies provides a useful and practical guide on how to navigate through your life assertively in a gentler and truly loving way.”
—Merrill Black, LCSW, Reiki master and hypnotherapist specializing in anxiety disorders

“Drawing on her experiences with Eastern and Western philosophies, Vavrichek has created a unique approach that combines humanism with self-empowerment. If you are looking to apply assertiveness skills in all major areas of your life, then you owe it to yourself to read the wisdom in this life-affirming book.”
—Joel F. Jaro, LCSW-R, psychotherapist and inspirational coach

“In this book, Vavrichek has combined the classic cognitive behavioral technique of assertiveness training with age-old philosophical principles of compassion, mindfulness and kindness. In doing so she provides a framework for assertiveness for the new millennium—effective, constructive and caring. Her writing is clear, convincing, and filled with many illuminating case examples. The author’s expertise and compassion shine through as she leads the reader on a valuable journey of the mind and heart. There is wisdom in this book from which all readers will benefit.”
—Charles S. Mansueto, PhD, director at Behavior Therapy Center of Greater Washington

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608821716
  • Publisher: New Harbinger Publications
  • Publication date: 8/1/2012
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 691,937
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Sherrie M. Vavrichek, LCSW-C, is a cognitive behavioral therapist and published author who uses mindfulness, meditation, and Buddhist philosophy in her practice and in her life. She is a senior staff member at the Behavior Therapy Center of Greater Washington, and has presented at national conferences on numerous mental health topics, including compassionate assertiveness. Vavrichek lives and works in the Washington, DC area.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

Part 1 Learning about Yourself and How Compassionate Assertiveness Can Help You

Chapter 1 Exploring Your Interpersonal Style and How You Became the Person You Are 7

Chapter 2 Compassionate Assertiveness: Improving Communication and Solving Problems with an Open Heart 29

Part 2 Training Your Mind and Your Heart

Chapter 3 Gratitude: Foster Appreciation to Reduce Negativity 43

Chapter 4 Equanimity: Stand Firm, Compromise, or Let Go 51

Chapter 5 Courage: Face Your Fear of Conflict 71

Chapter 6 Forgiveness: Free Yourself from Anger and Pain 87

Part 3 Strengthening Your Interpersonal Skills

Chapter 7 Using Mindfulness and Meditation to Calm Your Body and Your Mind 103

Chapter 8 Communicating with Care: How to Understand and Be Understood 117

Chapter 9 Using Negotiation Skills to Resolve Conflicts 133

Part 4 Applying Compassionate Assertiveness in Love and in Life

Chapter 10 Compassionate Assertiveness for Couples 149

Chapter 11 Compassionate Assertiveness with Your Family 163

Chapter 12 Compassionate Assertiveness in the Outside World 177

Afterword 191

Resources 193

References 195

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