Assertiveness Article

The Assertiveness Articles

There’s a difference between using assertiveness to accomplish a goal vs. developing an assertive identity. It has to become a part of you to truly be assertive. Sure, while you are learning, some of what you will do is to use the new skills you are learning to obtain the goal of becoming assertive. Anyone can be assertive occasionally; the long term goal is for it to become a part of you. Read more...

There’s a difference between using assertiveness to accomplish a goal vs. developing an assertive identity.  It has to become a part of you to truly be assertive.  Sure, while you are learning, some of what you will do is to use the new skills you are learning to obtain the goal of becoming assertive.  Anyone can be assertive occasionally; the long term goal is for it to become a part of you. It should become something you do not have to think about and plan out, it just comes naturally. 

Assertiveness should be expressed differently from one person to the next because we have different personalities, talents, interests, or moxie (energy, courage, determination). Assertiveness is not about perfect “form”.  It can settle in with us just as we are.  How does one get to the point of being assertive?  Know that you are in charge.  You can choose when to be assertive and when not to be.  Let’s face it, if you were being held at gun point and they want all of your money, it’s not the time to be assertive and stand up for your rights. You also don’t want to fall into one of these traps either:

  • “Fraudulent Assertion”-Disguised steamroller
  • Thinly disguised manipulation
  • Covering up a hidden agenda
  • Is well remembered and resented
  • Assertiveness without responsibility
  • “Actors’ Assertion”-A stream of hail fellow well meant greetings
    Only using the power of their voice to give gusty robust “Hi, How are you?”
  • Assertiveness that is never challenged
  • “Reckless Assertion”-Not honest
  • Rashly plunge ahead
  • No attention paid to dangers or consequences
  • Still new at this and judgment about what is appropriate is not as honed in as it will be in the future
  • “Pollyanna Assertion”-Everything is just great, just dandy
    Wanting acceptance or to fit in
  • Pays more attention to other people’s desires or preferences than to honoring your own
  • Wants to be assertive but is only comfortable with the nice ones
  • First sign of disagreement and she is likely to back down and regress to passive behaviors
Tip for this month on moving toward being more assertive:   Practice assertion at places that you will probably never visit again.  When we assert ourselves with strangers that we will most likely never see again, it is easier because we have nothing to lose if we make mistakes.  There is no emotional investment with strangers and we do not have to worry about resistance to “new behavior” that we would need to look out for with friends and family.