Assertiveness- Develop This Power in Your Life!
The following information is a section taken from the page "Communication Skills Parts 1".
Asserting yourself with others helps them learn more about who you are. You live your life according to the truth of who you are, and not as a reaction to others. This draws respect, connection, care, and love to you. At the same time, it protects you from being drawn into others passive and/or aggressive attachments to you. As you develop your unique style of asserting yourself in the world, your awareness, love, and respect for yourself deepen. The more you know yourself, the more assertive you will become, creating a wonderful feedback loop. At first, being assertive may feel uncomfortable and strange. But soon, the benefits will bring peace and strength to your self expression.
Assertiveness is a healthy way of relating. It is an open and honest way of expressing yourself. Unlike aggression (which uses force and opposition) and passivity (which tends to create misunderstanding and confusion), assertiveness allows for cooperation, clarity, and the freedom to be yourself. Your greatest strength comes from being yourself. All you need is to be yourself, and engage with others in this way. When being assertive, you expose yourself to a degree that is in your best interest. This expression may be verbal or non-verbal. You teach and train others to know who you are.
How To Be Assertive:
- be honest with yourself about your intentions, feelings, and ideas (Realize it can take time to develop an awareness of these)
- know that your thoughts, feelings, opinions, decisions, and actions are your responsibility. You choose them. You are a whole person; you are not a reaction to another person. Thus, do not blame others for your feelings, thoughts, and choices.
- directly express your intentions, feelings, and ideas to others, to the degree you believe is most respectful of who you are
- as you become more assertive, your respect for yourself and others increases - unlike passivity which doesn't respect self, and aggressiveness which doesn't respect the other
- when making decisions, consider the needs of both self and others
- give yourself permission to make mistakes
- let go of self-judgment / see yourself with eyes of love
- be responsible (deal directly) with the outcomes of your mistakes/errors. This leads to your increased knowledge, growth, and wisdom.
- again, you are responsible for your feelings, beliefs, and opinions
- when expressing yourself, be responsible for your timing and your communication style
- look directly at the other person(s), and stay calm
- be honest when you do not want to give and/or receive help
- be honest with others when you are upset with them. Even if they feel hurt for a moment, you wont build resent over time.
- stand-up for yourself and your rights , and stand up for the rights of others
- encourage yourself and others
Benefits of Assertiveness:
- with an increased awareness of your needs, you will be more able to meet your needs
- increased confidence about your ability to meet goals
- the freedom to decide when to explain or justify your behavior, and when not to
- the freedom to change your mind, including times when others may want to hold you to a position
- the ability to set your boundaries - keeping yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally as safe as possible
- the ability to say 'No' out of love
- because you are not responsible for the other person's reaction, you can be free of feeling guilty for other's decisions. Each person is responsible for their thoughts, feelings, and (re)actions.
- self trust and respect - this often leads others to trust and respect you
- self confidence, a sense of personal power
- the freedom to admit you do not know something
- a sense of internal peace
- assertiveness increases cooperation from others
Trust yourself to take your next best step! You have everything you need! All you need is to be yourself!! Assert yourself! Show the world who you truly are!! You will be glad, and the world will benefit!!!
Aggression is NOT Assertiveness! Aggression is a way of communicating that acts against others, often attempting to accomplish goals by hurting others. While the goals may be good, aggression is not a healthy way of reaching goals. Aggression destroys cooperation and increases conflict and chaos.
Characteristics of aggression:
- demanding others cooperate with your goals
- dominating and discouraging others
- telling others what to do, without their permission
- controlling situations, and controlling other people
- expressing needs, feelings, and ideas, without being open to the different needs, feelings, and ideas of others
- using force
- being judgmental
- being oppositional
- justifying your unfair treatment of others
- refusal to compromise
Outcomes of aggression:
- humiliating others
- feeling misunderstood, frustrated, bitter, and angry
- feeling alone and guilty
- isolation, as others create distance from you to protect themselves
- feeling rejected
Passivity is NOT Assertiveness! Passivity is communicating in a way that does not take care of oneself. Passivity brings a loss of personal power. It can even create a false sense of being a victim.
Characteristics of passive communication:
- dishonest expression of your thoughts and feelings
- avoiding responsibility for self care (Even when you are caring for others, it is your primary responsibility to care for yourself. If you do not, others may feel pressured to care for you, clouding their freedom to say 'No' to you.)
- ignoring your rights, and allowing others to ignore them
- being indirect
- allowing others to make decisions for you
- blaming others for decisions in your life
Outcomes of passivity:
- thinking, feeling, and acting like a victim, because of letting others make decisions for you
- feeling resentful used, disappointed, anxious, fearful, tired, and depressed
- having a negative attitude about yourself
- believing you are powerless
- feeling helpless and misunderstood
- physical symptoms
Assert yourself! Show the world who you truly are!! You will be glad, and the world will benefit!!!