Are You Assertive Enough?

First, let me ask you this. Are you assertive? Do you even know what assertiveness is? Many people think that they know and others have never even heard of it. The rest of us have to put up with these two groups. Or do we?

There are three basic types of people. They are Passive, Assertive and Aggressive. These types often overlap within individuals and may even vary depending on the circumstances in which these individuals find themselves.

You often find that the passive people recognise themselves quickly and even some of the assertive people will choose a category for themselves here based on characteristics that may not be obvious to the rest of us. However, the aggressive people often see themselves as assertive, confusing the ability to stand up and express their views as an equal with their own tendency to shout others down and try to get your own way all the time. For this reason, you seldom see aggressive people going to assertiveness training, and when they do, people wonder why.

Aggressive people are inclined to impose their will on anyone who will allow it. They become quarrelsome and even belligerent if they do not get their way. They see their needs as the only important issue and do not even consider the needs of others.

Aggressive people need to stop putting themselves first all the time. In fact, there is very often no second place. They need to modify their behaviour by reducing their tendency towards fierceness. This will actually improve the level of cooperation experienced by the aggressive people, as others will be more inclined to respond positively to a more agreeable attitude.

Passive people are inclined to be submissive, to give in to others too easily, thinking that the opinions and needs of others are more important. They are reluctant to speak up and express their opinions and needs.

Passive people need to learn how to express themselves and balance their needs against those of others, maybe even putting their own needs before those of others occasionally.

Assertive people speak up for themselves without imposing themselves on others. They recognise that they have the right:
• To lead as good a Life as they can provide for themselves.
• To be themselves.
• To express their opinions.
• To make mistakes.
• To be treated well.
• To say no.

Recognising that you have these rights is only part of the story. You must recognise that others also have these rights. You must also learn to communicate your needs to others when the need arises.

Now answer the question I asked at the beginning. Are you assertive? I am glad to say that most people are there or there abouts. Assertiveness is something that has to be worked at and practised. So if you do recognise yourself in the other two categories don’t lose heart just work at improvement and remember that nobody is perfect.