What is Assertive Behavior?
It is standing up for your rights and expressing what you feel, believe, and want in direct, honest, and appropriate ways that respect the rights of others.
Why and when do we avoid being assertive?
· When we are overly concerned about hurting the other person's feelings.
· By fooling ourselves into believing our feelings are not real or are not valid (i.e. "I really shouldn't feel this way.")
· When we believe our feelings are unimportant compared with someone else's feelings.
· When we fear that an unbearable scene and confrontation will occur if we become assertive.
· As a manipulative tool we become nonassertive to force another person into making decisions for us, thus giving up our control over the situation.
Making changes involves risk taking. Some people who are used to getting their way and having others give in to them, may not be happy when changes are made. When we approach situations assertively and with honesty, respect, and openness we will increase our confidence. We are also more likely to get what we want and to be understood. Assertiveness is about taking care of yourself but not trampling on the rights of others. It is imperative that we are assertive "in the moment" as much as possible and that we are direct and specific in conveying our feelings, our wants, our needs, and our thoughts.