Assertiveness and Chronic Pain

   How many of us thwart our desire to stand up and state how we truly think and feel when our fundamental rights have been violated. We have a right to say “No”, to make a request, to share when we are pained by something, to think differently or to have self-respect. Suppressing and internalizing these rights can lead to physical conditions like stomach or headaches, dizziness, light headedness, irritable bowel, or high blood pressure.  

   One adaptive acronym used to assert yourself effectively is the  DESC script, standing for Describe, Emote, Specify and Consequence. 

   First, Describe what you’ve experienced. ” Mark, that’s the 15th time this week that I’ve asked you how you are feeling and you’ve stated, “Leave me alone!”

   Second, Emote or share how that makes you feel. ” I’m hurt when you come back at me like that!”

  Third, Specify a request. “I’m requesting that you stop that and respond to me in a nice way.”

  Fourth, Identify a Consequence both positive and negative on the form of, “If you..then.” ” If you speak kindly to me when I ask how you’re feeling , then it will make me feel closer to you.” ” If you don’t, then it’ll make me want to stop asking and will push me away from you.”

   Nor all assertions will lead to positive results but it will clearly reduce inner tensions or suppressed thoughts and emotions that can otherwise lead to chronic pain.

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