Assertiveness is a quality that comes in handy in many areas of life. However, not everyone has it innate. Not to worry. Assertive behavior can be developed, but it requires persistence and persistence.
Why is assertiveness important?
Assertiveness is the ability to set clear boundaries while respecting the rights of another person. It is useful both in professional and private life. Thanks to it we can clearly define what we are able to agree to and what behaviour is completely unacceptable for us
Assertiveness at work
Assertiveness is most often useful in contacts with superiors; then we are able to clearly define our scope of responsibilities and not let them burden us with matters that do not belong to them. An assertive attitude also helps when negotiating the conditions of employment – an employee who knows his/her own value is easily able to convince other people of his/her abilities
Assertiveness in a relationship
However, not only in the professional field this is a useful quality. It is often necessary to demonstrate assertiveness in a relationship as well. Otherwise, a partner with a dominant character pushes our needs, beliefs and values to the background
Assertiveness in the family
Parents also need to be assertive in their parenting. Children are very quick to take advantage of disagreements or differences between parents on various everyday issues in order to achieve their goals. In this case, only firmness can help to control the situation
Assertiveness and aggression
Assertiveness is a desirable attitude. We want to be assertive ourselves and we expect the same from others. However, it often happens that our assertive behaviour becomes brutal or even aggressive. It is especially visible in the sphere of public debate on various topics: political, philosophical, etc. The social divisions caused by such issues make it necessary for many people to assertively refute the accusations of their opponents. However, we often observe crossing the thin line between assertiveness and simple verbal aggression, which does not lead to any constructive conclusions, but only aims at insulting the opponent. In this case we cannot consider such behavior as assertiveness. The essence of assertiveness is to resist pressure and accusations in a firm but cultured and constructive way. Therefore, one should always control the level of one’s utterances and behaviour, because if once we allow ourselves to cross the magic border, it will be difficult to return to the state before it happened
What can I do to become more assertive?
Many people openly admit that they have problems with assertiveness. Unfortunately, not everyone is gifted with this useful trait. However, with a bit of self-denial and making an effort to work on our character, we can develop mechanisms that will allow us to maintain a firm attitude in many situations and defend our own arguments
Building your own assertiveness
How to consciously build your own assertiveness?
- Don’t follow the crowd. This is one of the basics when it comes to building your own assertiveness. If your beliefs and principles tell you to do one thing and the crowd of people around you do the opposite, don’t let the beliefs of others control you. Always act in accordance with your own reason and conscience
- Prepare a plan for the situations in which you are most likely to succumb to pressure. For example, if you are afraid to talk to your boss about your professional situation, prepare for it. Think through your arguments, practice making your point and only “equipped” with a clear and lucid plan should you start discussing the development of your professional position.
- Accept the fact that saying NO is not a bad thing. Many people are afraid to say no in order to avoid being accused of laziness, selfishness and other negative characteristics. However, you should not always give in to pressure from others just because you are worried about how they will perceive you. It’s time to start paying attention and communicating your own needs and expectations clearly.
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