Assertiveness is an attitude and a way of acting
in any situation where you need to,
1. Express your feelings,
2. Ask for what you want,
3. Say no to something you don't want.
Becoming assertive involves self-awareness and knowing what you want.
Behind the knowledge is the belief that you have the
right to ask for what you want. When you are assertive, you are
conscious of your basic rights as a human being. You give yourself
and your particular needs the same respect and dignity
you'd give anyone else's. Acting assertively is a way of
developing self respect and self worth.
If you are phobic or anxiety prone, you may act assertively
in some situations but have difficulty making requests or saying
no to family members or close friends. Having perhaps grown
up in a family where you felt the need to be perfect and
please your parents, you've remained a "people pleaser" as an adult.
With your spouse or others you often end up doing many things you
really don't want to. This creates resentment, which
in turn produces tension and sometimes open conflict in
your relationships. By learning to be assertive, you can
begin to express your true feelings and needs more easily.
You may be surprised when you begin to get more of what
you want as a result of your assertiveness. You may
also learn that assertive behavior brings you
increased respect from others.
ALTERNATIVE BEHAVIOR STYLES
Assertiveness is a way of acting that strikes a balance between
the two extremes: aggressiveness and submissiveness.
Non assertive or submissive behavior involves yielding to someone
else's preferences while discounting your own rights and
needs. You don't express your feelings or let others know what
you want. The result is that they remain ignorant of your
feelings or wants (and thus can't be blamed for not responding
to them). Submissive behavior also includes feeling guilty
or as if you are imposing--when you do attempt to ask for what you want.
If you give others the message that you are not sure
you have the right to express your needs, they will tend
to discount them. Phobic and anxiety prone people are often
submissive because, as previously mentioned, they are overly invested
in being "nice" or "pleasing." Or they may
be afraid that the open expression of their needs will
alienate a spouse or partner on whom they feel dependent.
No one like you was ever born or ever will be.
We may laugh at the oddballs and eccentries of this world but
at least they have the courage to be themselves. Most of
us lack the plain old intestinal fortitude to claim our own
uniqueness. For fear of ridiculed or shunned, we talk and dress
and act just as everyone else does--often dwarfing our self-esteem
in the process.
Yet all of us weren't born to dance to the same music. Each and every
one of us is a one of a kind, an original. Unconventional ideas
are the seedbed of innovation and progress. Off beat
humor is a wonderful wat to share insight. The expression
of imagination isn't the sole right of artists and
performers, it's the right of everyone who wants to reach
his or her full potential.
Frustration and self-pity are just two symptoms of the failure
to exppress our true selves. Perhaps we have chosen
colorlessness as camouflage against attack. Now that we're
gaining more self-coinfidence, however, perhaps it's time to
step out of the crowd, wave our own flag, and shout,
"This is the real me!"
I am entitled to my own uniqueness.