What s Assertiveness An Article

Assertiveness is the ability to say yes or no when you want to; it's the freedom to be yourself in all circumstances. Here's how you develop this invaluable skill An assertive manner certainly means that we'll feel more empowered, and more in control of circumstances. However, it is definitely not a strategy to get our own way more frequently. Assertiveness is the courage to be ourselves and show the world who we really are: our likes and dislikes, our thoughts, feelings, and shortcomings. It's about communicating honestly with family, friends and colleagues. As we become more assertive, we drop the mask and show our true selves. We proclaim: "This is who I am, this is what I feel, and these are my needs." Assertiveness skills are not easy to learn. Many of us grow up without learning how to use them effectively. And even when we do, we're tempted to use seemingly easier ways of communicating. We want to push others into behaving in ways that suit us, or we may be so afraid of conflict or disapproval that we feel it isn't safe to speak honestly. Being assertive means learning new ways of communicating that may initially seem uncomfortable. Assertiveness offers many benefits: We create healthy, meaningful relationships There is less friction and conflict There is increased self-respect as well as respect from others Our self-esteem is enhanced, and we always feel in control Our productivity at work and the home increases There's less stress, and an overall sense of well-being In expressing ourselves appropriately, we needn't hold grudges, or store pent-up emotions . Our emotional and physical health improves. So what prevents us from being honest with others? As children we had very direct ways of making our needs known with no compunction in telling trusted people how we felt and what we thought. What happened later? For starters, we grew up in a complex society. Many things may infringe on our ability, or willingness, to be honestly expressive. We receive messages about how we should 'be' from our culture, society, and family. Generally, these messages discourage us from making waves. To varying degrees, we are taught that our needs should be put to one side. As we grow, we face enormous pressures to conform and who we really are gets suppressed in the process. Eventually, we begin to feel frustrated, out of control and overlooked. We may develop a fear that a hostile world is 'out to get us'. We create beliefs about the world that influence the way we relate to

Then objectively decide whether they are reasonable or not. we generally favor one. at 3. denying our dreams and desires. we may create the very circumstances we fear. THE PASSIVE PERSON Finds it hard to say 'no' Has difficulty in expressing opinions Feels others' needs are more justified than one's own Tends to avoid conflict at all costs. The belief system you hold influences your communication style. yet we live our lives as though they were true.others. these beliefs may become automatic and we are hardly aware that we hold them. A healthy belief system looks at the world from the point of view that you are a valuable. these views are distorted and based on messages received in childhood. The frightening thing is that if we relate to others through these distorted beliefs. let's look at how we communicate at present. Then how can we become more open. and although we tend to switch from style to style. and see if any are similar to your beliefs: Only beautiful and intelligent people are allowed to express their view People are unreliable. of course. We willingly obey imaginary rules that dictate what we are and are not allowed to be.. For example. just before my morning exam.00 a. resulting in the very situation you feared." Now that we are aware of some things that were blocking us from being assertive. Replace old beliefs with positive self-statements: "I am a strong and worthwhile person. and often tries to occupy the smallest possible space. and accepts the fact that others are too. I'll drop you at the airport. We become shadows of our true selves. Both these ways will ultimately drive people away. and helpful or not. even if personally detrimental Finds it hard to maintain eye contact. Or you may be aloof in your relationships to convince others (and yourself) that you do not need them. We develop styles of communication that reflect how we view the world internally. worthwhile person. Psychologists recognize four main styles. Gradually. a fear of rejection may influence you to behave in a possessive manner to control a partner. It is okay to take time out to do other things. but I am not defined by it." . Honestly put down your beliefs about yourself and the world. Example: "Yes.m. Consider these examples." "I love my job. honest and assertive? Begin by recognizing distorted beliefs. Often." "The world can be a friendly and supportive place. eventually abusing your trust A woman's main role in life is to cater to the needs of others People only take you seriously if you are more powerful than they are.

as if no other is possible Tends to dismiss or ignore the opinions and feelings of others Believes one's own needs are most important Feels powerful when dominating others. Specify and Outcome script used by Bower and Bower in their book. Asserting Yourself. Making requests. Notice whether you listen attentively to what others are saying. Example: "Yes.00. through practice. One useful technique is the Describe. please. uses accusatory statements Tries to get his/her own way by being manipulative Fears rejection and confrontation." THE ASSERTIVE PERSON Expresses needs. Example: "I understand that you're busy." Realizing that we are not tied to old viewpoints about the world. Express. I know I promised to meet you at 9. How do we move into this new style? Basically. Draw up a list of situations where you can be assertive. but Anthony kept me talking. say what's wrong. These four steps can be used when learning to make an assertive request. later guilty or remorseful as people draw away. then avoids by making excuses. This makes the tone of the communication direct. make your request and predict an outcome. Notice the difference between the assertive style of person #1. Like refusing a request made at work or taking a faulty item back to the shop. but unchallenging. but I'd like to see the manager as soon as possible. Remember to use 'I' statements wherever possible. forgetting and being late Denies personal responsibility for their actions. with friendly eye contact. and the awareness that we cannot control others can be a very liberating feeling. especially if our level of self-esteem is fragile. and the passive. We are free to tentatively practice new ways of relating to others. This creates an opportunity to express yours directly and without being apologetic.THE AGGRESSIVE PERSON Expresses point of view arrogantly. People are more likely to listen to you if they feel that you are attentive. wants and feelings directly and honestly Allows others to hold different views without dismissing or deprecating them Respects the fact that others' needs are as important as one's own Realizes that no one controls anyone else. Example: "Anyone with any sense would know that's a ridiculous point of view. or having needs met is often difficult. I'm really sorry. Register your expression and posture. Practice asking others' opinions. The intent is to frame the situation. Notice the way you decline or make requests. and passive/aggressive ." THE PASSIVE/AGGRESSIVE PERSON Agrees to others' demands. Assertive postures are open and non-threatening.

"I would love to go out on Saturday. What's going on? Helpful description: #1. It means asserting some control. define the situation. DESCRIBE Before making a request. and yet is making his needs known. "I don't suppose you're free on Saturday. The person seems more open. "Why don't you ever take me out to dinner anymore?" EXPRESS Here and now. less threatening and dominating. courage and practice." SPECIFY Indicate what you would like to happen: #1. that things may not be easy at first." #2. either " OUTCOME Describe the outcome you'd like to achieve if the other person went along with your request: #1. Changing the way we communicate takes time. "It would be a great chance for us to catch up and spend some time together. express how you are feeling in this particular situation: #1. and others may resist this initially. perhaps by writing down examples first. When we drop our masks. others feel safe doing likewise. Remember." #2." These scripts clearly show the difference an assertive style makes to the tone of a conversation. .style of person #2. It's very helpful to practice making requests using these scripts." Unhelpful description: #2. though. Now begin the journey towards coming out of the shadows and being more assertive. "It's been a long time since we went out for dinner together. The wonderful thing about being assertive is that we open a space around us for others to be themselves. "You don't love me anymore. "I miss you " #2. "Like always. you're letting me down.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful