Assertiveness: When to address distress?

Perhaps you know someone at work who continues to behave in a way that is causing distress. Maybe they talk very loudly when on the phone and you share an office space with them, or possibly they critique your work in a tone that is condescending.  You might feel like you have given the person the benefit of the doubt, but it seems that this behavior is getting more and more troublesome for you.  When do you decide to address this?  Will talking to this person only make things more awkward and uncomfortable?  Is there something you are doing that is contributing to this co-worker’s behavior?

My first recommendation is to take time to think this out and bounce it off someone you trust.  Dealing with sticky situations in the heat of the moment can make them even more sticky.

Photo by topgold.  Attribution license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/

Photo by topgold. Attribution license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/

Practice how you might approach this conversation.  Find a way to create a private space to talk to this person.  Start the conversation with an appreciation, such as “I really appreciate how much you help me.”  When addressing the issue, provide example of what occurred and how it made you feel.  Then allow the person to take in what you say.  They may need to clarify some things and ask some questions.  Finally, see if you both can find a way to try to resolve what hasn’t been working.  If you don’t have time for that or need more time to consider what might work, make an agreement to check in again to see what either of you might come up with.  Finally, agree to some time frame for seeing if new solution/plan is working for both of you.  This will allow you time to tweak things in the future if needed, and it also keeps the conversation going.

Dealing with Stress & Anxiety at the Start of the School Year

The school season has started for many and the stress and anxiety about the school year starts early.  There are the pressures of school demands, expectations of the year to come, the demands of social connections, not to mention school sports, expenses, extracurricular activities, starting a new school, and the physical and emotional changes that are likely occurring for a student.

Some amount of stress is good, it can keep a person motivated, organized, and keep the brain functioning.  However too much stress can interfere with development because a person can become immobilized when they feel overwhelmed.

Tips on preventing stress include spending time with your school aged children, providing a stable home environment in terms of rules at home, eating habits, routines, avoid over scheduling, schedule family time, and trying to understand behavior communicating with your student.  Routines help alleviate stress as well as teach kids to learn to develop routines for themselves.  Family meetings can be helpful by providing a way to regroup and talk about what is going on, as well as what isn’t working too well and reviewing schedules and expectations together.

Signs of stress can include:

  • Fears and nightmares
  • Negativism and lying
  • Withdrawal, regressive behaviors, or excessive shyness

Quick tips on managing anxiety and stress

  • Take a time out; schedule quiet time
  • Eating well-balanced meals & decrease sugar
  • Avoid excessive caffeine intake, illegal drugs, alcohol, and tobacco
  • Get enough sleep
  • Accept you cannot control everything
  • Welcome humor
  • A positive attitude
  • Talk to your supports
  • Exercise
  • Respect personal space

I hope the school year has started smoothly for you, let me know if you would like me to meet with your student if they are struggling in school so we can get them back on track.