Saturday, August 7, 2010

Understanding Assertiveness

To understand assertiveness let's start with common causes for nonassertiveness:

FEAR: of displeasing or hurting others or of being rejected or of making mistakes. Nonassertive people are often oversensitive to other people's feelings. They are afraid that disagreement will be misinterpreted as dislike for the other person.

FALSE BELIEFS: that they are unworthy or that they do not have any rights. These people think that if they assert their rights they are being self-centered, or that others' opinion are more valid.

LACK OF SKILLS: Some people never learned how to be assertive or were discouraged from being assertive as children.
Let's continue with some common causes of aggression:

INSECURITY: those feelings of powerlessness. Aggressive people often feel threatened and react strongly thinking they must protect themselves.

RELUCTANCE: to give up the perceived benefits of aggression. Some aggressive behavior make work in the short run because it intimidates other people. In the long run, however, the aggression gains only resentment ... not respect ... from others.

INEXPERIENCE: in expressing needs and feelings in any other way. Aggression can become second nature in some people.

AND PEOPLE can and do CHANGE the way they act ... CHANGING YOUR BEHAVIOR is really up to you! Nonassertive or aggressive actions often are the easiest and result when you put too much pressure on yourself, blowing things out of proportion. Learn to think calmly and rationally.

DEVELOP A POSITIVE ATTITUDE that says: It's OK to make mistakes. No one's perfect. I can say "NO" when I need to. I would like to be good at this and if I am not that is OK. I would like it if he went out with me and if he doesn't , that is OK. Asking questions does not make me look stupid and it is the best way to get the information I need. Just because I see it this way does not mean everybody else should agree. If I stand up for myself now and say what I really feel, it will be better in the long run.