Assertiveness is a very important part of happiness and success. Many people confuse being assertive with being either aggressive or passive, in other words a bully or a doormat for others to walk all over. True assertiveness is being able to express your feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and opinions in an open manner that doesn’t violate the rights of others.
What stops us from being assertive?
A number of factors can stop us from being assertive:
Self-defeating beliefs - We might have unrealistic beliefs and negative self-statements about being assertive, our ability to be assertive, or the things that might happen if we are assertive.
Skills deficit - It may be that we just don’t have the verbal and nonverbal skills to be assertive. We may watch other people being assertive and admire their behaviour but have no real idea how to be like that ourselves.
Anxiety and stress - It may be that we know how to be assertive, but we get so anxious that we find we can’t carry out the behaviour. We may be so stressed that it becomes difficult to think and act clearly. We need to learn how to manage our anxiety and reduce the physical stress in our bodies.
Situation Evaluation - It may be that we can’t really tell which behaviours to use in which situations.
Cultural and Generational Influences - There can also be strong cultural and generational influences on our behaviour.
In The Assertiveness Workbook you will learn how to eliminate these factors.
The effects of not being able to say “No”
If you say “Yes” when you really mean “No”, resentment and anger can build up towards the person you have said “Yes” to, even though they have done nothing wrong. You can also become increasingly frustrated and disappointed with yourself. And if you are taking on more that you can cope with, you can become over-worked and highly stressed. In the long term not being assertive in this way can decrease your self-esteem and lead to depression and anxiety.
At the other end of the spectrum some people are able to say “No” but do so in an aggressive manner without consideration or respect for the other person. This may result in people disliking you or being angry and resentful.
Neither of these situations is good assertive communication.
In The Assertiveness Workbook you will learn how to say NO assertively.
In the Assertiveness Workbook you will learn how to give and receive criticism assertively. All of us have been criticised at some point in our lives. Being able to accept criticism assertively is one of the most important tasks we face on our journey to maturity. The word criticism comes from an Ancient Greek word describing a person who offers reasoned judgement or analysis, value judgement, interpretation or observation. To accept criticism maturely we need to be able to accept feedback in the form of analysis, observation or interpretation from other people about our behaviour.