Today we are going to think about assertiveness. What does this mean to you? Spend a moment and think about people that you know who you would described as assertive, maybe several people. Think about the behaviour that these people exhibit and why you admire them for being assertive? Right down the behaviours and traits of someone that you believed to be assertive.
Now let’s compare your list of assertive people and assertive behaviours against the definition of assertiveness.
Definition- assertive behaviour is behaviour which enables a person to act in his or her own best interest‘s, to stand up for his or herself without any anxiety, to express honest feelings comfortably, or to exercise his or her own rights without denying the rights of others.
So being assertive and using assertive skills means that you are able to stand up for your own and other peoples rights in a calm and positive way, without being either aggressive, or passively excepting a ‘wrong’.
Now you have read the definition are those people that you admire and consider assertive actually being assertive within that definition? Or perhaps are they aggressive or bullying in nature to get their own way? Being assertive is neither of those two things. Being assertive is to be able to put your point of view across in a positive way without trampling over the feelings of others.
If you would like to develop your own assertive skills you need to consider some of the following points: –
- Do you respect yourself? Who you truly are and what do you want to do? This is going back to the Bill of Rights.
- Do you recognise your own needs as an individual? This needs to be separate from what’s expected of you as a mother or wife a partner a daughter
- You are allowed to change your mind and to make mistakes. This is quite normal human behaviour.
- It is okay to ask for what you want. This isn’t selfish, this is to meet your personal needs.
- Do you recognise that you are not responsible for the behaviour of other adults or for pleasing other adults all of the time.
- Respect other people and their rights to be assertive and you can expect the same in return.
- If you don’t understand something say that you don’t understand so that you can work out what is happening and make a decision.
When you want to be assertive be clear of what you want to achieve, then plan what you going to say and how you are going to act. Ensure that you are calm and not feeling upset or angry. Do not allow the other party to intimidate you, or to make you feel under pressure or unworthy of what you are seeking to achieve.