Assertiveness Copy

A misconception about assertiveness

There is often a misconception as to what assertive behaviour is. Here are a few dictionary definitions:

Confirming confidently, positively.  To defend one’s rights or opinions, sometimes with unnecessary zeal – Chambers Dictionary

Expressing opinions or desires strongly and with confidence so that people take notice – Oxford Dictionary

An honest, direct, and appropriate expression of one’s feelings, thoughts, and beliefs, while being well adjusted. – Mine ( Bruce Bowen)

Assertiveness is the ability to communicate your needs, feelings, opinions, and beliefs in an open and honest manner without violating the rights of others.

Often we think assertiveness is a dirty word and has negative connotations. Particularly the ‘S‘ and ‘C‘ behaviour styles. Assertive behaviour is more often associated with the outgoing styles of ‘D‘ & ‘I‘ The fear of S & C is that it could cause a level of conflict so they will avoid it at all costs. So again for the S & C styles, it’s perfectly ok you are not alone and it’s natural to feel this way, although you don’t have to. In fact you shouldn’t, why?

Again assertiveness is related to your self-awareness of it. Too little can cause issues, just as an over healthy assertiveness can cause huge problems.

The lack of assertiveness can lead to:

  • Depression: feeling helpless with no control over your life
  • Resentment: anger at others for taking advantage of you
  • Frustration: why did I let that happen
  • Temper: if you can’t express anger appropriately it can build up to temper outbursts
  • Anxiety: you may avoid certain situations which make you feel uncomfortable – so you never grow
  • Relationships: when individuals can’t tell each other what they want
  • Stress: stress can have a negative impact on the body

However the benefits of having a level of assertiveness far outweigh the possible repercussions of not exercising you assertive rights. Some of these are:

  • Makes you feel better about yourself
  • Minimizes any unpleasantness
  • Helps us have better relations with others
  • Reduces stress
  • Propels your career
  • Vaults you into leadership position
  • Able to adapt to changing social and professional environments
  • Freedom from guilt conscience as you know you have the right to express your opinions and feelings