Assertiveness is an antidote to fear, shyness, passivity, and even anger
All of us should insist on being treated fairly; we have to stand up for our rights without violating the rights of others. This means tactfully, justly, and effectively expressing our preferences, needs, opinions and feelings. Psychologist call that being "assertive," as distinguished from being unassertive (weak, passive, compliant, self-sacrificing) or aggressive (self-centered, inconsiderate, hostile, arrogantly demanding).
Because some people want to be "nice" and "not cause trouble," they "suffer in silence," "turn the other cheek," and assume nothing can be done to change their situation or "it is our cross to bear." The rest of us appreciate pleasant, accommodating people but whenever a "nice" person permits a greedy, dominant person to take advantage of him/her, the passive person is not only cheating him/herself but also reinforcing unfair, self-centered behavior in the aggressive person. That's how chauvinists are created.
Assertiveness is an antidote to fear, shyness, passivity, and even anger, so there is an astonishingly wide range of situations in which assertiveness is appropriate
several kinds of behavior are involved.
- To speak up, make requests, ask for favors and generally insist that your rights be respected as a significant, equal human being. To overcome the fears and self-depreciation that keep you from doing these things.
- To express negative emotions (complaints, resentment, criticism, disagreement, intimidation, the desire to be left alone) and to refuse requests.
- To show positive emotions (joy, pride, liking someone, attraction) and to give compliments. Accept compliments with "Thank you."
- To ask why and question authority or tradition, not to rebel but to assume responsibility for asserting your share of control of the situation--and to make things better. You are no one's slave.
- To initiate, carry on, change and terminate conversations comfortably. Share your feelings, opinions and experiences with others.
- To deal with minor irritations before your anger builds into intense resentment and explosive aggression.
Step 1 - Realize where changes are needed and believe in your rights.