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Assertiveness definition and assertiveness techniques

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Assertiveness definition

Assertiveness is the ability to express your emotions and needs without violating the rights of others and without being aggressive.

People who are not assertive do their best to please others while violating their own rights or sacrificing their own needs. For the sake of avoiding rejection those people become overly nice to win their friends but they end up losing their self confidence.

Assertiveness is not about showing people that you can shout and its not about scaring them but it's something between being aggressive and being passive.

Assertiveness is the act of asking for what you want in a confident way that harms no one but in the same time preserves your rights.

why am i not assertive?

Assertiveness is not something that is inherited. Assertiveness is a skill that anyone can learn if he decided to. Lack of assertiveness usually result from the way a person was raised. If a child was constantly told that he must be nice in order for others to like him then he might not become assertive when he grows up.

The good news is that you can learn how to be assertive starting today once you take the decision and decide that you won't let go of your rights anymore for the sake of pleasing others.

But will people like me if i am assertive?

Contrary to common beliefs being assertive will not let people avoid you or hate you, this may only happen with over sensitive people who might get hurt by assertiveness. Here is a guide that will help you (spot a sensitive person from his looks). Normal people on the other hand won't hate you when you become assertive but on the contrary they will like you because you sound more confident.

in order to be assertive you must stick to these rules

In order to be assertive you must stick to these rules and guidelines:

  • You have the right to have your own values, beliefs, opinions, and emotions.
  • You have the right not to justify or explain your actions to others.
  • You have the right to tell others how you wish to be treated.
  • You have the right to express yourself and to say, "No," "I don't know," "I don't understand," or even "I don't care."
  • You have the right to take the time you need to formulate your ideas before expressing them.
  • You have the right to make mistakes.
  • You have the right to stand up for yourself and for what you want.
  • You have the right to be treated with respect.

If you refused to follow these guidelines and if you insisted on not being assertive then you might end up feeling worthless as your self confidence will be badly affected.

Being assertive is not a hard a task. You just need to change two things, the words that you use and your body language.

Assertiveness in relationships

In my book, The ultimate guide to maintaining a healthy relationship i explained how lack of assertiveness can ruin a relationship.

People who are not assertive keep accumulating the bad emotions that result from the violation of their rights then explode later on when they can't bear them anymore. This habit can ruin any relationship and this is another reason why you must learn how to be assertive.

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