Assertiveness is an attitude and a way of relating to the outside world, backed up by a set of skills for effective communication. When you are truly assertive, you see yourself as being of worth and having a right to enjoy life and get your needs met without violating the needs of others. At the same time, you value others equally, respecting their rights. Assertiveness satisfies the needs and wants of both/all parties concerned.
When we are able to be assertive it can create a win-win situation. Time and energy will be saved and mistakes are less likely. To be assertive is to be confident. If you are confident you will be able to be assertive.
When we are not assertive we tend to submit to the needs of others, possibly to avoid conflict. The more you are submissive the easier it is to be so and to be seen in this way which compounds the problem.
Rather than communicating honestly, directly and openly with other people we may be either passive or aggressive.
Passive: using sarcasm, giving in resentfully or staying silent.
Aggressive: bottling up feelings which eventually explode, not giving space for discussion, or allowing others choice. Where assertiveness tries to find a win-win solution, aggressiveness strives for a win-lose solution: I’ll be the winner; you’ll be the loser.
Possible short term gains of non assertion:
- Avoids conflict
- Reduces anxiety
- Escape from feelings of guilt
- You can enjoy self-pity – the role of being the martyr
- Pride in taking on too much work although this will lead to decreased performance over time.
- Being seen to please
Possible long Term effects of non-assertion:
- Loss of self-esteem and confidence
- Increased anger
- Self pity
- Feelings of victimisation
- Loss of respect from others
Assertiveness training works with you to understand your own rights and needs and how to express them in a healthy way.
Please contact me if you would like to be more assertive.