The basic difference between being assertive and being aggressive
is how our words and behavior
affect the rights and well being of others.
Sharon Anthony Bower
Over the course of any given day, you are faced with many opportunities to openly express yourself. Stating your preferences in simple and honest terms can help you build your self-esteem and help move you toward the life you seek. There are also additional benefits that come along with building your assertiveness skills and putting them into practice.
Caution and Definitions
Before we press on, don’t confuse being assertive with a license to become an obnoxious and aggressive bully. So perhaps, a few definitions are in order.
– characterized by or tending toward unprovoked offensives, attacks, invasions, or the like; militantly forward or menacing
– making an all-out effort to win or succeed; competitive
1. Contentment. You can cultivate real contentment with life. The more you ask for what you really want and desire, the more likely you are to actually get what you want and desire. When you regularly obtain what you the things you want, you will naturally find more satisfaction in your life.
2. Freedom. The more you exercises your ability to exercise your ability, the more free you will feel in asking for what you want. In being assertive, you can feel free to share your emotions with others in appropriate ways, without hurting their feelings.
3. Stabilize your relationships. One of the wonderful side effects of demonstrating effective assertiveness skills is that you will be able to experience more stable relationships with a lot less conflict and confusion.
Even though you understand what being assertive involves, you may be thinking that most often responding in a passive manner is best. After all, you are an easy-going sort of person and you don’t expect to be satisfied all the time. But when you act passively, you run the risk of holding in your feelings and becoming dissatisfied with the end result.
Keeping your emotions locked up inside can take a toll on your relationships. Trying to continually dismiss your emotions instead of discussing them can result in speaking inappropriately later when you finally reach the limits of your frustration. This type of response can be damaging to any and all of your relationship.
You have the right to be open and honest about how you feel in your interactions with others. And if you express yourself appropriately assertively, chances are good the other person will not be hurt or offended. Most likely, they will listen and respond to your needs, which can only improve your emotional connection with them.
4. Model honesty. When you habitually communicate assertively, people know you aren’t going to pull any punches. They believe, and begin to expect that you will honestly say how you feel and they don’t have to guess what’s going on with you.
5. Manifest greater self-confidence. Interestingly, the more you express your own wants and needs, the more your personal confidence will grow. Those who assert themselves regularly in the course of their daily lives tend to believe that they be successful in whatever they do.
When you state what it is you are seeking, people are much more often willing to accommodate you. How’s that for a confidence-builder?
6. Believe in your self-worth. Attune yourself with your self-worth. Can you imagine any greater way to make yourself feel more worthy than simply and honestly asserting yourself and asking for what you want? After all, nothing else says, “I know that I’m a worthwhile person” more clearly than being forthcoming about what’s truly on your mind and heart.
7. Set the tone. As you freely and appropriately express yourself, those around you will begin to notice the enriched life you lead and will be encouraged to go after those same types of rewards. They will emulate the confidence you demonstrate with your assertiveness skills.
The more you speak up for your desires, the better your life becomes. Practice your assertiveness skills daily. When you do, you will not only inspire yourself, but also those around you.
You will ignite your own passion for life!