Have you ever heard this word? Sure, although it’s not always used well or we don’t always understand what it really means.
Assertiveness is a social skill, one of the most important ones, since it allows you to maintain a balance between your needs and those of others. It’s just the right mix, the exact point at which you are neither submissive to others (giving preference to the ideas, feelings and needs of others) nor aggressive (giving preference to your own feelings, your ideas and needs, at the expense of others). It allows you to be 100% yourself in a healthy manner in all aspects of your life, personal or professional.
The main thing in being assertive is to know that you have a right to have your own principles and your opinions and that you can express them taking into consideration the views and opinions of others. It’s not about being right or not, but about how to live and learn to express yourself and to admit that if you make a mistake you can correct it. If you are convinced that your opinion is correct and the arguments of another person don’t convince you the least, you don’t have to give way. But never take part in heated arguments and never lose control. I repeat: it is not about being right or not but about being able to express our thoughts.
It can happen in this scene that you think that if both sides are in the same position of not giving in it’s impossible that the conversation ends but badly. Well, you’re wrong: at a deadlock you need to suggest a solution that would fit well with both parties, or to friendly comment that perhaps both sides are mistaken but it’s not worth it to keep arguing, then change the topic.
Let’s continue with other possible scenes for the ability, the “No” one.
We are afraid to say “no” to people who are close to us, we think we always have to make a good impression, but this thought constantly makes us get into trouble. Sometimes everything is easier with a “no”. It’s an ugly word, isn’t it? It seems that it’s full of negativity, aggression. But it doesn’t have to be like this, and even less have we to express it in such a cold and sharp way.
The fact is that you are expected to make a commitment that you really don’t want to have but you also don’t want to make a bad impression. They ask you a favor that you don’t even know if you’re going to be able to fulfill or if it can bring you problems. To sum up, they ask you to do something you don’t want to do, but you’ll end up doing it because you cannot say “no”. Well, you have to learn.
Saying “no” respectfully and affectionately you can actually do a lot for your own happiness and your relationship with others. You shouldn’t look good, you have to “be honest”, and if something makes you unhappy, you shouldn’t accept it only because of the fear of “no”. If you’re going to do something you don’t want for another person, do it only if you know that they really need it, that your intention is to help them and that you don’t do it because of fear.
In the previous two examples I’ve shown a scene in which we avoided aggressive or passive communication. So, we’re closer to the understanding of how to maintain assertive behaviour …
To sum up, leaving the issue for the moment, assertiveness is a skill that, taking a simple approach, allows us to gain honesty, sincerity, freedom, self-control, clearer and freer communication and a much easier and more harmonious coexistence in our relations.