Do you manipulate or dominate others in order to get your way? Do you state your opinion as if it is a fact, without leaving room for discussion?
In the struggle to find the healthy balance between being passive or aggressive, we often tend towards one extreme—passively accepting things the way they are to avoid upsetting others, or seeking to dominate others to get what we want. Developing an assertive personality—that is, finding the sweet spot between passive and aggressive behaviours—can help improve your self-image and relationships with others.
What is assertiveness?
Assertiveness means being able to stand up for yours or someone else’s rights in a positive and controlled way, without lashing out with aggression or passively accepting the perceived “wrong”. You respect the thoughts, feelings, and beliefs of others along with your own. You are not anxious or shy to express yourself given any situation.
Signs of assertive behaviour include:
- initiating or ending conversations.
- making requests and asking for favors.
- being able to say “no.”
- addressing issues that bother you.
- being firm.
- expressing both positive and negative emotions.
Benefits of being assertive
Assertiveness helps you feel free to express your thoughts, feelings, and rights, while maintaining control over your anger.
By being more assertive, you should feel less anxious and more self-confident. People will respect you more, and you will respect yourself. Assertiveness improves communication and creates honest relationships. With more assertiveness, you will be better equipped to accomplish your goals and find fulfillment in life.
Assertiveness is a key quality in the ultimate endeavour of being true to ourselves. This does not mean being true to our willful ego self but to the resonant inner voice of our conscience.
Reach out for help
It’s all about learning to listen inwards to identify and distinguish between the dissonant and congruent voices coming from within and deciding to honour and align with the latter. Developing the balance is not out of reach and will transform your life and relationships. You can learn how to identify the self-sabotaging positions of passivity and aggressivity and develop the more constructive quality of assertiveness. Psychotherapy is a powerful and effective way to turn over a new leaf and discover the empowering and liberating quality of assertiveness that will help you respond to specific situations in a way that is positive and true to your beliefs.
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