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Published by: ŠhДeяY..ıılıı.. PotteŘ on Jan 13, 2011
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Expressing your thoughts, feelings, and opinions and standing up for your rights isimportant. You are your first and biggest supporter, so it's important that you speak up for yourself.Whether your behavior is unassertive (passive) or overassertive (aggressive), it is possible to change. But it is also important to understand the difference betweenexpressing yourself in a self-confident manner (being assertive) and forcing your ideas onothers and intimidating them (being aggressive).
Making the Change
Assertion is not a trait that people are born with. It is something that is learned anddeveloped over time. It is also dependent upon the individual and situation - people reactdifferently to different situations. The same incident may cause one person to respond inan aggressive manner, while someone else may be passive, while yet another person may be assertive.Even if you think that you are 'too passive' or 'too aggressive' and don't know how to beassertive, chances are, you do respond assertively to at least some things in your life. For example, you may feel comfortable speaking up when a cashier in a store gives you thewrong change, but you may not say anything if a waiter in a restaurant brings your foodlate or cold. The trick is to recognize those areas where you are assertive, identify your skills, and apply them to other areas of your life.Everyone can expand upon their assertiveness skills, no matter how limited they think they are. You just need the desire to change your behavior and value yourself more. Ask yourself these questions:
Do I want to change my behavior?
Do I believe in myself, as well as others?
Am I willing to set reasonable goals and take reasonable risks?
Am I open to new ideas?
Can I accept the facts that things may not change overnight and not everythingwill always go my way?
Am I willing to make the effort, practice, and have patience while building mynew skills?If your answers to the questions above are "Yes", then you are already on your way to being a more assertive personWhat is Assertiveness and why be Assertive?
TO ASSERT -- To state an opinion, claim a right, or establish authority. If you assertyourself, you behave in a way that expresses your confidence, importance or power andearns you respect from others. - From the Oxford English DictionaryAssertiveness is standing up for your right to be treated fairly. It is expressing your opinions, needs, and feelings, without ignoring or hurting the opinions, needs, andfeelings of others.Because people want to be liked and thought of as 'nice' or 'easy to get along with', theyoften keep their opinions to themselves, especially if those opinions conflict with other  people's. But this sometimes leads to being taken advantage of by people who are not asnice or considerate. Asserting yourself will stop others from cheating you and you fromcheating yourself out of what you deserve.Assertive behavior includes:
Starting, changing, or ending conversations
Sharing feelings, opinions, and experiences with others
Making requests and asking for favors
Refusing others' requests if they are too demanding
Questioning rules or traditions that don't make sense or don't seem fair 
Addressing problems or things that bother you
Being firm so that your rights are respected
Expressing positive emotions
Expressing negative emotions
Assertive Versus Unassertive and Aggressive Behavior
Many people are concerned that if they assert themselves others will think of their  behavior as aggressive. But there is a difference between being assertive and aggressive.Assertive people state their opinions, while still being respectful of others. Aggressive people attack or ignore others' opinions in favor of their own. Passive people don't statetheir opinions at all.The chart below gives some examples of the differences between passive, aggressive, andassertive behavior.
Differences Between Passive,
Aggressive, and Assertive Behavior. Passive Behavior (
The Passive Person
) -- Aggressive Behavior (The Aggressive Person) -- AssertiveBehavior (
The Assertive Person
 Passive Behavior 
: Is afraid to speak upAggressive Behavior: Interrupts and 'talks over' others
Assertive Behavior
: Speaks openly
 Passive Behavior 
: Speaks softlyAggressive Behavior: Speaks loudly
Assertive Behavior
: Uses a conversational tone
 Passive Behavior 
: Avoids looking at peopleAggressive Behavior: Glares and stares at others
Assertive Behavior
: Makes good eye contact
 Passive Behavior 
: Shows little or no expressionAggressive Behavior: Intimidates others with expressions
Assertive Behavior
: Shows expressions that match the message
 Passive Behavior 
: Slouches and withdrawsAggressive Behavior: Stands rigidly, crosses arms, invades others' personal space
Assertive Behavior
: Relaxes and adopts an open posture and expressions
 Passive Behavior 
: Isolates self from groupsAggressive Behavior: Controls groups
Assertive Behavior
: Participates in groups
 Passive Behavior:
Agrees with others, despite feelingsAggressive Behavior: Only considers own feelings, and/or demands of others
Assertive Behavior:
Speaks to the point
 Passive Behavior 
: Values self less than othersAggressive Behavior: Values self more than others
Assertive Behavior
: Values self equal to others
 Passive Behavior 
: Hurts self to avoid hurting othersAggressive Behavior: Hurts others to avoid being hurt
Assertive Behavior
: Tries to hurt no one (including self)
 Passive Behavior 
: Does not reach goals and may not know goalsAggressive Behavior: Reaches goals but hurts others in the process
Assertive Behavior
: Usually reaches goals without alienating others
 Passive Behavior 
: You're okay, I'm notAggressive Behavior: I'm okay, you're not
Assertive Behavior
: I'm okay, you're okay
Tips for Behaving More Assertively
If you want to be more assertive, but aren't sure how, here are some tips to get youstarted. But remember, the best way to become more assertive is through practice. Visit

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