Assertiveness A Dilemma?
Many people are not assertive because they are afraid of displeasing others or not being liked. You may avoid some immediate confrontation and unpleasantness by not being assertive. But you could also risk relationships in the long run if you?re constantly unable to assert yourself. This can lead to low self-esteem and lack of confidence and can become a routine way of life for some people.
In my experience as a Life Coach I have found that a lot of people are willing to accept the cost of their unhappiness rather than speak up for themselves. Essentially saying I know I have been wronged or I?m unhappy with something, but I?d rather live with that than explain how I feel to the person responsible.
Being assertive is the balance between being aggressive and passive. You have the right to have feelings and to express these feelings in ways that do not violate the rights of other people. You have the right to be human, to have your needs met, to be able to change your mind, and to make mistakes. You can make your own decisions and to live your own life as you choose as long as this doesn?t hurt others or abuse their rights.
You must remember though - other individuals have a right to respond to your assertiveness, or even be assertive themselves. An encounter with another assertive individual should involve negotiating an agreeable compromise, hopefully with a win win outcome, where everyone is satisfied.
Assertiveness goes hand in hand with a person?s confidence and overall effectiveness. Being assertive can help strengthen relationships, reduce stress, improve your self-image, and make you more successful. On the whole successful people are generally assertive. To be successful, as well as meeting the needs of others you are going to have to have your own needs met. If you can?t assert yourself in this way it will make life far more difficult, and success will be harder to achieve. In effect you become powerless to get your wants and needs met.
At the end of the day, if you?re assertive and aware of your own basic human rights and the rights of others you will get far more out of life for yourself and the people around you.
Remember though ? you have the right to be assertive, but never rude or obnoxious. Your assertiveness should never be at the cost of another?s personal feelings or rights.
About the Author: Richard Gumsley is a full-time freelance Life Coach from the UK. For more information check out his Life Coaching website http://www.startliving.org.uk