What is being assertive?

What does it mean assertiveness ?. Is to have the ability to respond to other people maintaining one’s rights while respecting other people rights. Is to maintain your self esteem without damaging them. Ask the following questions:

  • Can you stand up for yourself?.
  • Are you too submissive that you won’t even ask for your needs?.
  • Do you often feel guilt or resentment or upset and constantly think that they are taking advantage of you?

When you are expressing your thoughts and feelings in a respectful manner you are being assertive. Your behavior is the result of a healthy self esteem and confidence.

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What is the difference between being assertive and being aggressive?

Many years ago I used to have a passive behavior because I was afraid to be rejected. Later I found myself victimized and I started to respond with aggression. Why?. Because I wasn’t aware that I could be assertive. It took me many years to understand that there was a better way for expressing myself by being assertive.

Responding with aggression you demand, threat. You become sarcastic and sometimes engage in physical violence. With aggression you stand up for yourself violating other’s rights . When you are assertive you can stand up for yourself respecting other’s right.

Being assertive is to have confidence enough in oneself to be able to express your feelings without damaging your self esteem. By being assertive you will start building confidence and self-respect, resolve conflicts in a healthy way. Assertiveness allows you to express anger constructively and overcoming shyness is easier.

If you can’t be assertive some of the consequences are:

  • Resentment. You are manipulated and used.
  • Frustration.You are victimized and dwell on self-pity.
  • Violence inside of you. If you can’t express your anger appropriately, you’ll keep it.
  • Avoidance. Because you are uncomfortable you will have a tendency to avoid social situations.
  • Poor relationships. Conflicts in relationships, doubts, fears , resentment and so on.

Learning to be assertive.

In order to be assertive you have to know your boundaries and limitations. Apply the following tips for being assertive:

  1. Make eye contact. This way you acknowledge the person you are talking to.
  2. Relax and adopt and open posture.
  3. Get to the point, avoid hurting with your words.
  4. Always say I. Don’t refer as: You make me feel.., instead say: I feel ….. .

The last tip is to remain calm. If you are angry stop, let go of the anger and then approach the issue. And always make the different between interpretation and evaluation. Interpretation involves feelings. For example: He is saying that I am wrong , he wants to hurt me. Evaluation is neutral: He is saying that I am wrong.

Most of us are not used to express our feelings . We expect them to read our minds. If you expect them to read your mind you will live under other’s assumptions.

You will notice changes in your relationships while you use assertiveness. You’ll notice different reactions. When I started to be assertive I felt really uncomfortable with myself and many family members thought that I was acting strange. Is a matter of persistence, we tend to reject change , is uncomfortable. If you practice assertiveness everybody respects you. Your confidence and self respect improves.

To Improve your assertiveness, try Be more assertive.

You can also use assertiveness quotes and become more confident , enhance esteem and overcome victimization.



Carla Valencia

Trained in various schools of thought in the area of personal growth, she became passionate about writing her personal experiences and issues related to self esteem and personal development to help individuals in achieving greater levels of joy and love in their lives.