What Is Assertiveness?
First of all, It’s not always easy to identify truly assertive behavior. This is because there is a fine line between assertiveness and aggression. Some definitions are helpful when trying to separate the two:
Assertiveness is based on balance. It requires being forthright about your wants and needs while still considering the rights, needs, and wants of others. When you are assertive, you ask for what you want but you don’t necessarily get it.
Aggressive behavior is based on winning. It requires that you do what is in your own best interest without regard for the rights, needs, feelings or desires of others. When you are aggressive, you take what you want regardless, and you don’t usually ask.
Assertiveness is a skill regularly referred to in social and communication skills training. Being assertive means being able to stand up for your own or other people’s rights in a calm and positive way, without being either aggressive, or passively accepting ‘wrong’.
It’s the ability to speak up for ourselves in a way that is honest and respectful. Every day, we’re in situations where being assertive can help us — like asking someone on a date, approaching a teacher with a question, or doing well on a job or college interview.
Being assertive doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Some people communicate in a way that is too passive. Other people have a style that is too aggressive. An assertive style is the happy medium between these two.
Here’s what it means to be assertive:
• You can give an opinion or say how you feel.
• You can ask for what you want or need.
• You can disagree respectfully.
• You can offer your ideas and suggestions.
• You can say no without feeling guilty.
• You can speak up for someone else.
• Why Does It Matter?
An assertive communication style can help us do the things we want to do. But it goes further than that: Being assertive shows we respect ourselves and other people.
Do you consider yourself to be assertive?
And what does being assertive mean to you?
Does it mean exercising your rights all the time, every time?
Being assertive is not necessarily easy, but it is a skill that can be learned. Developing your assertiveness starts with a good understanding of who you are and a belief in the value you bring. When you have that, you have the basis of self-confidence.
Being assertive is a core communication skill.
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