Article as it appeared in Essays of Africa magazine. By Kim Garner
You can read the article "How's Your Relationship with Yourself?" here.
In my assertiveness course, “How to Stand up for Yourself Without Standing on Others”, I show that of the five communication styles – assertive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, manipulative and submissive – the assertive style is the one we should be striving to use most of the time, because with this style you:
This poster is an affirmation that you are being assertive. Use it as a reminder to keep on track.
When I visited Rome, in Italy, I expected to see a beautiful city – after all Italy is known for its beautiful architecture, art, clothes and people. What I did not expect was to be made to feel beautiful. But that’s what happened. Everywhere I went the Italian men would call out a compliment, or whistle, as they sped past on their motor scooters. Although I was under no illusions – they did the same to all the women – I loved it and felt like the most beautiful woman in the world!
I was staying in a backpackers lodge at the time and one evening an American girl came in angrily complaining about the Italian men and how they were “awful and always trying to come on to you!” I tried to explain that it was just the Italian way and absolutely no harm or offence was meant, but she was having none of it. While I had a wonderful time in Italy, she must have had a miserable time.
The lesson here is it worth learning how to accept a compliment graciously. Not only does it give you a real boost, it also inspires the giver to continue giving compliments – and the world would certainly be a better place if we were more complimentary to each other.
While travelling in the South of Spain, I decided to do a take the ferry across the Strait of Gibraltar to Morocco where I joined a tour group for a day trip in Tangier. We had wonderful day, visiting various places of interest, riding camels and enjoying a leisurely lunch of delicious Moroccan food. The whole experience was marred though by a horrible experience I had with a young man who was selling souvenir teaspoons.
We were walking down one of the narrow streets when he came up to me insisting I buy one of his teaspoons. I did not want to buy a teaspoon and told him so, but he continued to walk beside me badgering me to buy. It was unpleasant and knowing that bargaining was the ‘modus operandi’ in that town I decided that the best thing to do was to offer him a really low price in the hope that he would just go away. Of course he declined my offer, but remained walking beside me trying to bargain. When I refused to offer him anything more, he accepted it, but as he handed over the teaspoon he swore at me. I was really upset by the insult, but it did teach me a valuable life lesson.
When you say “No”, mean “No”! Be assertive - give a single, clear message that you are not interested in buying and then do not engage in any further interaction. By engaging with the teaspoon seller I gave him the message that I wanted to bargain with him and so created the problem for myself.
Whether you are at a formal function or an informal gathering you will be called upon to make conversation with others. Mastering this skill - either one-on-one or conversations in small groups - is thus an important life skill as it will give you the confidence you need to handle both business and social events.
This practical course covers the fundamentals of conversation such as how to start a conversation with someone you don’t know; effective introductions to ease the way for others; how to be interesting rather than boring and how to include everyone in the conversation. We also touch on non-verbal (body) language.
A surprisingly large number of people do not know how to accept a compliment. They have a mind-set that says something like, “I cannot possibly deserve positive feedback - anyone who pays me a compliment must be misguided, lying or feeling sorry for me”. But, is this really true? Of course not! You not only have the right to accept compliments and feel good about yourself, but also the responsibility to accept a compliment that someone is giving you, graciously.
Article as it appeared in O - The Oprah Magazine. By Kim Garner
Kim Garner asked three experts for quick, empowered responses to the most uncomfortable age-related questions.
Article as it appeared in Weigh- Less magazine. By Natasha Liviero
Feel like you have been pushed-over or passed-over one too many times? If you’re nodding in agreement, it’s time to take a stand and start speaking-up for yourself.
Article as it appeared in Wellness magazine. By Natasha Liviero
From the shape of our legs to the size of our breasts, most of us are guilty of viewing our bodies in a less than sterling light!