- Be persistent in what you say so that other people truly understand your meaning and know that you mean it.
Persistence can also be viewed as an assertiveness technique, one aimed at ensuring that you’re properly understood by another person and one that makes it clear that you don’t give your ground on something without making a conscious choice to do so. If you’re the type of person to barely whisper what you want or don’t want from other people or you’re easily trapped and lead off in other directions when trying to explain what you want or don’t want from someone else, then you will be helped a great deal by learning to be persistent in interactions with other people.
- Learn the “broken record” technique.
This is a common technique used in assertiveness training, to help you stick to your initial message and to have it to return to when the person you’re interacting with keeps trying to redirect you elsewhere. Basically, this technique consists of making a continuous, clear statement about your feeling, intention or decision without becoming angry, defensive or irritated, no matter how much you have to repeat yourself.
- Avoid a feeling that you’ve “backed down” by adopting a “workable compromise”.
On less common occasions, you may find that a compromise will work but you only if it doesn’t cause you to feel that you’ve given in or being used. In this case, accept the need for a compromise as part of your assertive approach, listen carefully to what the other person is asking and formulate questions based on what they’ve said to ask them how much they’re willing to compromise. In your case, only offer what you can without feeling resentful or used up.
- Focus always on restating your request or your refusal.
This means only answering questions that are relevant and not being lead into answering questions that have little or nothing to do with the matter but then are used by the other person to launch into distracting you from what you’ve asked for or refused.
- Be reasonable when you’re seeking to be persistent.
In the case of both a request and a refusal, a compromise may be appropriate. In the case of a request, the other person has a right to refuse. Ultimately, persistence is knowing that you have tried your best, stood up for yourself and not being sidestepped or angered. Even where you don’t get what it is that you wanted, you have gone about being persistent in a way that earns respect and keeps your dignity completely intact.
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