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What is Assertiveness?

ASSERTIVENESS - You’ve probably heard this term many times before. Most likely, in contexts that address effective social and communication skills. From what is being said, written and advertised, Assertiveness seems a great skill to master, but why? What does it mean to be assertive? And why should you make it a core part of your life? This article will answer these questions.

What is Assertiveness? The Scoop.

Assertiveness is the complex ability to think, emotionally react and act in a way that is non-passive and non-aggressive. This is the main principle behind assertiveness: satisfying the non-passive and non-aggressive criterion.

A person whose thoughts and actions are guided by the assertive principles is able to openly express his/her opinions, feelings, needs and desires and act in accordance with his/her own objectives and goals while at the same time respecting the opinions, feelings, needs, desires, objectives, and goals of others.

Basic principles linked to Assertiveness include the following:

  • Knowing and claiming your own rights while at the same time respecting the rights of others.
  • Having the ability to set and respect personal boundaries.
  • Recognizing and assigning value to both yourself and others. 
  • Knowing your own strengths and vulnerabilities and at the same time recognizing the strengths of others and treating their vulnerabilities in a considerate manner.

  • Knowing you are in control of your own life. You are also aware that the others have the right and skills to control their own lives as well.
  • Taking an active role in guiding your own life.
  • Being guided by a sense of equality and seeking to promote equity in social interactions.
  • Taking responsibility for your actions and also understanding the limits of that responsibility. You also understand that others are responsible for their own actions.

Assertiveness is a Multi-Dimensional Concept

Assertiveness can be considered simultaneously a Set of Skills, a Communication Style and a Type of Behavior.

The Set of Skills involves cognitive, emotional and behavioral elements. You think, manage your emotions and act in an assertive way. Empathy, effective listening skills and thinking patterns that are predominantly rational are among the qualities that describe an assertive person. When assertive skills are activated on all of these levels - thinking, emotions, behaviors - the results can be seen in most aspects of a person's life. Complex secondary skills such as the effective management of stress, management of criticism, and management of conflict can be found among the benefits of living an assertiveness-driven lifestyle.

The Communication Style refers to using assertive verbal and non-verbal techniques and strategies in your social interactions. An assertive individual is able to express his/her opinions, feelings and needs openly, in a direct and authentic manner. Assertive Communication includes the regulation of inner speech.

The Assertive Behavior means being able to generally act in ways that project the assertive principles and traits.

These concepts obviously overlap and draw on the same basic ideas, but depending on the context, they can each be used to describe the framework of personal development strategies or a subject of study and knowledge.

Benefits of Assertiveness

Assertiveness is considered the most effective communication and behavioral style mainly because it triggers a wide range of positive results. In general, Assertiveness promotes high levels of physical and emotional well-being and offers the best management for both personal and professional aspects of life.

Once you become more assertive in your thinking, your emotions and social interactions, you can also expect changes such as increased self-esteem and self-confidence, higher motivation and activation of inner resources, the ability to adapt to various contexts easily, increased tolerance levels when dealing with uncertainty and diversity, lower stress levels, healthier relationships, and many others.

People who are predominantly assertive create opportunities for themselves and others and at the same time know how to promote themselves and showcase their abilities.

Authenticity and independence are closely linked to an assertive lifestyle.

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