ONLINE AND IN-PERSON
Learn The techniques of a Powerful communicator…
set clear boundaries and defend yourself against verbal attacks
Those around you will understand how you want to be treated, and will learn to respect your boundaries are you are able to give instant feedback to things done and said to you. Even if in the past you found yourself in difficult situations with people who were hard to handle, this is something you can repair and take in a different direction.
Have you experienced self-blame because when you did not react as you would have liked to to those situations, but you then realise what you would have wanted to have said some hours or days later? There are many people all over the world who are having the same experience!
You may know someone who although they do not look particularly assertive, is capable of setting healthy boundaries, managing toxic people and keeping their own personal and emotional space drama-free, as they gracefully get people to understand what is it that they want.
They know how to set those boundaries and avoid a conflict escalating in a way that looks effortless. They seem to have a natural talent for getting their voice heard and responding to conflicting situations and people on the spot.
But this is not just a natural talent.
It can be trained and it’s something anyone can learn with some communication and verbal self defence tools and practice.
Verbal Self Defence is a collection of tools and strategies that have been studied and proved in order to protect yourself from attacks and abuse, deal with harassment and aggressive communicators, whilst keeping their emotional balance and lot letting situations escalate.
Why can it be Hard to Set Boundaries and to Defend Ourselves from Abusive Language?
Since a very early age, a majority of us have been educated in order to fit in with others and make them feel at ease. Sometimes it can be through adherence to certain codes of conduct and respect for others, and other times it requires us to step outside our personal boundaries as children and adapting to the norms, from being asked to kiss family members we did not want to, to having our own emotions invalidated, such as if we are being told not to cry or not to be angry, so we learn that some emotions are perceived as negative and we should not express them in order to not offend others. It is only normal that we can find it very hard to set healthy boundaries as we grow up. We don’t want to hurt others, but sometimes we end up hurting ourselves.
Typically, as children we learnt that we shouldn’t express a full range of emotions in certain social contexts. Being unfamiliar with these contexts, it can sometimes be not easy to manage them when they happen and we can be in a position where we explode or react very angrily in a way that can make aggression escalate and make things even more difficult for us.
At the other extreme of it, certain verbal attacks can leave us feeling powerless and unable to speak. We would rather withdraw and not deal with them, and sometimes this is not even a choice, but we literally can´t speak out. Or we need so much time to be able to articulate that we lose momentum, and only get our voice back when is too late and the attacker is not present or we have lost the opportunity to reply.
We have learnt so much to put other people’s feelings ahead of our own needs so that sometimes we don’t even notice what our boundaries are, or how to clearly set them.
There is not just one strategy to deal with this, but what we know is that the violation of boundaries can result in anxiety, and people who have to have suffered from verbal abuse or from being exposed often to hostile language have a bigger incidence of illness, more risk of accidents and a longer recovery time from ill-health.
And there are ways to work on these issues.
The 3 Elements that will help you to Become a More Effective Communicator and Defend Yourself from Verbal Abuse
First is your capacity to react in the moment to what has been said, so you will be able to teach others there and then how is it that you want to be treated. This is so important because when we cannot react in the moment, we ruminate later in the day or the following days ‘what we could have said’ and punish ourselves for what we were not able to do when actually we couldn’t have done anything different at that moment. Being gentle to ourselves and practising our responses is an important item of this course.
Second, is your ability to regulate the strength of your response according to the circumstances, so that what starts as discomfort or confrontation does not escalate just because of anger levels and a situation does not become exacerbated by your reaction or the other person’s reactions or both. This is something that we will tackle and train, and it’s actually fun to train these skills!
Third, is not all about what you say, but your body language and tone of voice say about how you think and feel. Getting in touch with our body and learning about what our body tells us instead of adopting ‘body language tips’ is a longer-term way to manage yourself emotionally when you are subjected to the stress of harassment and abuse, and can give you the clues to find your way to gain in space and gain the confidence that will result in your body and tone of voice expressing and setting your boundaries in a clearest and effective way.
How This Programme Helps You to Deal with Verbal Attacks and Conflicts and to Handle Unwanted Behaviour :
This course provides you with strategies and practical activities for clarifying your boundaries and getting others to respect them.
The programme is centred on the concept of Verbal Self Defence and is integrated with expression and body language in a natural way.
This means that it won't be a collection of tips and tricks help you gain an argument, but is a very useful method on how to defend yourself from verbal attacks and harassment, which will become part of your communication style and way to teach others how to treat you.
You will learn to use a number of tools that work at two levels, one as effective way to deal with conflict and the verbal attacker, and also as a way to prevent this situations from happening more often.
The Program Consists of:
In person or online life sessions consisting of practical activities, mentoring and group dynamic, tailored to your requirements.
Accompanying pdf materials with tools and practising activities
Option to create a support peer group* for regular practice once the course is completed
(*) For groups over 10 students
We will learn and practice:
Techniques to keep connected to your body and calm yourself
Group practice responding to attacks with a variety of tools
Some attacks are easy to notice, but others are not that obvious.
Some attacks can leave us paralysed, physically and with nothing in mind to say.
Dealing with Emotions
Going through and processing the emotions that an attack can give us.
Deflect the attack, and at the same time show empathy
Use of Anger
How Anger is a valid feeling and what we can learn from it
Separate yourself from your position, handle conflict and move forward.
Recognise microaggression, see their impact and practice micro interventions
Perform without feeling much resistance, keeping yourself in balance
How backhanded compliments work and what can we do bout them
Get group exercises, activities and supervised support
Contact me for a conversation about SPEAK OUT and let's see if we are a good fit!
When it comes to talking about harassment and verbal abuse, many women will feel comfortable in an all-women space. You can have this course delivered exclusively for groups of women where we will tackle in most specific ways issues that we experience. Although verbal self-defence should never be a way to deal with a threat of physical harm, we will tackle frequently asked questions and deal with situations such as managing unwanted attention and invasive behaviour.