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Saturday, August 13, 2011

I could get used to this absent father lark. You turn up at the weekend, take your daughter to the beach, buy her an ice cream, then return the girl to her mother before she throws her next tantrum.

Weekend Dad
That's me using my assertive non-verbals to stop her running off towards France. After two days of intensive training, I'm now fully qualified in the dark arts of assertiveness, with a can-do attitude and an arsenal of magic phrases I can employ at any time to deal with difficult people and challenging situations. Although within five minutes of arriving in St Leonards last night and trying them out on Lisa, she told me I was being annoying, and asked me to go home.

I said no. Which is something I learnt on the course. Yesterday's session involved a lot of useful advice, including the importance of avoiding the words 'should' and 'try'. Apparently it's better to adopt a more definite approach where you either do or you don't, rather than faffing about with uncertainty. It sounds like something I should try.

In the afternoon we were put into pairs for ninety minutes of role-playing. I was partnered with a hospital doctor, so whilst she asked me to play the part of a difficult consultant who wouldn't listen to her concerns, I found it easier to adopt the role of a needy patient wanting advice on his plantar fasciitis and chronic prostatitis. She eventually resorted to non-verbal communication by putting her fingers in her ears.

Overall though, the course was very good. The trainer was excellent, and I learnt a lot of useful techniques for dealing with the aggressive, the passive, the manipulative and the diabetic. So having filled in my action plan and awarded top marks on the course evaluation sheet, I walked out with my head held high, and drove straight to St Leonards to show Lisa what I'd learnt. It didn't go down that well, but I think she'll appreciate my assertiveness more in the long term. That's if we're still together.

After a bad night, during which Amelie asserted her right to get out of bed at 2am and scream the place down for half an hour, I got up this morning and took her out to the local charity shops. We followed that up with a stroll along St Leonards seafront, where she demonstrated her skills as a front-runner...

... before taking this photo of me...

Blue Sky Thinking
After two days of assertiveness and self-confidence training, that's me doing some blue-sky thinking.


Lisa said...

If you did become an absent father, you could definitely have Am every weekend. No need to thank me now.

Dave said...

But what would you write about in the week?

Phil's Mum said...

St. Leonards' sea front looks very attractive.  I must go there sometime.  It doesn't look as if anybody else does.

Dave said...

Well, your foot is clearly much better.  You weren't run out this week.