Are you Assertive or Aggressive?
Master the art of assertiveness
Do you find yourself boiling with anger or frustration when a friend makes a comment that hurts, or when a colleague speaks over you in a work meeting? Do you bite your lip and keep your feelings hidden. Finding the right words to express how you feel and stand up for yourself positively, is a skill that can be learnt.
A woman’s personality is often shaped by the main role model in childhood, usually her mother. Some mothers rule the roost; others take a more passive subordinate role. Society also influences our behaviour and attitudes towards each other. I remember being told, that being polite meant putting other peoples wants and feelings before my own, especially when other children came to visit. This sent the message that, I shouldn’t be assertive and my feelings weren’t as important.
In life we constantly interact with others: with our family, with colleagues at work, socially with friends, even popping to the shops. Effective positive communication is central to our self worth and personal identity.
Assertiveness sounds a strong and forceful word. It is often confused with being demanding, pushy, and bossy, in other words aggressive. What assertiveness actually means is, respecting yourself and others and believing that your feelings are just as important as anyone else’s.
- Communicate clearly what they do and don’t want
- Look for a ‘win win’ outcome
- Do not apologise, unless they are genuinely at fault
- Do not accept verbal abuse, criticism or aggressive behaviour
- Do not over justify themselves to others, but keep to the facts
What can stop you being assertive?
- Fear of failure
- Fear of hurting others’ feelings
- Fear of rejection
Assertiveness is an important life skill. If you are feeling frustrated at not being able to ask calmly for what you want, start by identifying and challenging the issue that is stopping you being assertive.
As a life coach I can also help, by providing advice and a wide range of techniques.
Then watch out everyone!
For more information on assertiveness and other issues please visit my website or contact me on 07802 714305