When You’re a Demonstrator Communicating with an Assertor

You hate conflict. They see the most basic conversations as a debate with points to score and an ultimate winner. You both like big-picture thinking, but you soar over obstacles while they prefer to push them aside. Assertors like to be in charge and get their way. You just want to make everyone happy.

However, when your loved one is an assertor, you have to resist the temptation to simply let them take charge and make a decision. You have a right to be heard, too. The assertor may try to motivate you or score points by criticizing you, but you need to avoid apologizing for who you are. You need to help your loved one navigate difficult situations, even when it goes against your natural tendencies.

Quick Tips for Demonstrator-Assertor Conversations

  • DO stand your ground and be heard. Your opinions matter, too.
  • DO ignore personal attacks from the assertor. These are attempts to score points, not valid commentary on you or your choices.
  • DO prepare in advance so you can present them with details, facts, and possible pitfalls.
  • DO be willing to call in a third party as a mediator if it becomes too hard to communicate.
  • DON’T let the assertor unilaterally make decisions unless you truly agree those are the best courses of action.

Demonstrators Must Find Their Inner Strength to Work with Assertors

Assertors aren’t known for their attention to detail. That means you’ll have to be the one to spot trouble and point out the flaws in their plans, or else you may end up with a disaster. Since you’re not naturally a detail-oriented person, this means that you’ll need to prepare for conversations in advance.

Jot down a list of points you hope to bring up and problems that you foresee before the start of the conversation, and refer back to it. Once the assertor states an initial preference, see if any of your objections apply and voice them. You’re a bigger help when you stand your ground and help the assertor make the strongest possible decision.

You may also need to act as go-between to smooth over difficulties between a more abrasive assertor and the other people in their life. That means that you may have to take an active role gathering information, making phone calls, and even negotiating contracts. Finally, if communicating with the assertor becomes too difficult or stressful, remember that you can ask a third party to help you negotiate conflicts and reach a satisfying decision that works for you and your assertor.

Learn more about communicating with an assertor here.