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red bike trail therapy

- gleaning inspiration, beauty, and wisdom from the trail -

in western Colorado and and beyond.

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Corkscrew Trail, Wildwood Trailhead, CNM, Red Bike Trail Therapy, Red Bike Counseling, Assertiveness

are you an increaser or a decreaser?

This morning, the red, orange, and umber mottled sandstone monoliths jut through the black Precambrian basalt flow and all of this rock work contrasts brilliantly with the faultlessly blue sky above the Colorado National Monument. It’s cool yet this spring, but there is fresh, green growth spilling out of the cracks in the soil. Hard to say right now, what exactly is popping up, but there’s a good chance some of it is cheat grass – the one that’s the first to dry up and turn yellow in the fall. Its tenacious little seed heads attack your socks. That one. It’s powerful, aggressive, and likes to control the situation. In the world of natural resource management, these plants are known as increasers. Increasers are plants that grow wherever the soil is disturbed. Increasers dominate, impose, and invade.


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In world of mental health, the equivalent to increaser might be someone who’s communication style is aggressive. Aggressive communication is about bulldozing, being overbearing, and bossy. Sounds a bit like cheat grass, right? Just as there are increasers in the plant world, there are also decreasers. In areas that are disturbed, decreasers tend to shy away, be discreet, and stay in the background. Likewise, passive communication is about being submissive, having no opinion, and being apologetic. Whether we have a tendency to be a decreaser or an increaser – passive or aggressive – there is another communication style that is more the middle of the road, and that is being assertive.


Corkscrew Trail, Wildwood Trailhead, CNM, Red Bike Trail Therapy, Red Bike Counseling, Assertiveness
Wildwood Trailhead, Corkscrew Trail, Colorado National Monument, Red Bike Counseling, Red Bike Trail Therapy, Assertiveness

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Assertive communication is about being equal to others and means that my feelings and needs matter and so do yours. With assertive communication, we try to get our needs met in a reasonable way. Assertive communication style includes being direct, honest, and responsible for self. Being assertive, means you own who you are, what you like, what you believe in, and what you stand for. Assertive communication is stating your feelings, wants, and needs clearly with ownership. Assertive communication is the foundation for becoming an authentic human being.


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Disclaimer: Whether you have been reliably passive or aggressive, once you’ve decided to communicate assertively, expect that there may be some initial friction when trying on this new communication style within your usual relationships. Proceed thoughtfully and slowly! A course regarding assertive communication will prove helpful and the Mesa County Library website,

https://mesacountylibraries.org/ , happens to offer such a course through Universal Class. Red Bike Counseling plans to offer group therapy for those desiring to learn and practice assertive communication. If you are interested, please inquire ([email protected]).


Red Bike Trail Therapy, Red Bike Counseling, Corkscrew Trail, Wildwood Trailhead, Assertiveness

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