As the poster says:
- express your feelings
- ask for what you want
- say no to something you don’t want
- be aware of your emotional intensity
- be sensitive to the risk of violence
BEFORE YOU CAN BE ASSERTIVE
You must be aware of your self before you can be assertive. Being aware of your self is not at all similar to being aware of yourself. When you are aware of “your self,” you are aware of you as another person. You are aware of your feelings, your reasons, and the risk to your personal situation. “Yourself,” by contrast, refers simply to you. It is merely a pronoun.
You must believe that you have the right to ask for what you want. You must prepare your mind and spirit, sometimes on the spot, for the situation that will arise after you become assertive. Be prepared for anything and above all, always be in control of your own emotions. Do not lose control. Let the other person lose his. He who loses it loses.
DID YOU KNOW?
When you act assertively, you help develop your own sense of self-respect and self-worth. Also, assertive behavior generally wins more respect for you from others. In the long run, being assertive also helps make other people more comfortable with you since they will know where you stand. A few people will decide not to like you but they will be few.
WHY IS IT DIFFICULT TO BE ASSERTIVE?
It can be difficult to act assertively when you are anxious or anxiety-prone. However there is no choice. If you decide to act assertively, you must set aside your anxiety. Do whatever it takes to set aside your anxiety. That is necessary in order to act assertively successfully.
Remember that you can’t be nice or pleasing to everyone. This concern can hold back a person from becoming assertive. Realize that it is possible to become nice or pleasing to people even after being assertive with them. In truth, it depends upon the maturity of every other person. Most people will recognize that you are just being assertive. A few will misinterpret your assertiveness. There is nothing you can do about that. It is a question of maturity of every other person.
In a sense this is the largest risk you take with being assertive. People will reveal, through their individual reactions, some of their inner character.
ALTERNATIVES TO BEING ASSERTIVE
The alternatives are undesirable. You can submit (i.e., be submissive). Submission brings up its particular set of negative consequences. Or you can be aggressive, passive-aggressive, or manipulative. Each is discussed below.
DO NOT CROSS THE LINE. DO NOT BECOME AGGRESSIVE YOURSELF.
You can act too assertively also. Assertive becomes aggressive. And aggressive behavior can cause violence. Refrain from communicating in a demanding, abrasive, or hostile manner. Those are aggressive manners. Unchecked aggression can lead to violence and violence ultimately creates a lose-lose situation.
When you react this way, you appear to go along but constantly express your anger and aggressive feelings in covert fashion. Behaving in a passive-aggressive manner tends to be corrosive. The issue that caused your anger becomes sensitive and, unchecked, could grow and dominate your relationship with that person. You’re angry at your boss, so you’re always late for work. Your boss may never understand why you’ve started coming in late. Unless you tell him your boss may attribute your frequent tardiness to another reason. Passive-aggressive behavior tends to confuse other people. Confusion tends to turn into resentment or anger. As illustrated, corrosiveness brings on negative consequences.
A manipulative person attempts to get what he wants by making others feel guilty or sorry for him. Instead of taking responsibility for his needs, he tries to make others feel guilty or sorry for him. He does this by casting himself as a victim or martyr. If this doesn’t work, he may become openly angry or feign indifference. Be prepared for either reaction. Manipulation only works as long as those to whom it is targeted fail to recognize what is happening.
BACK TO ASSERTIVE
Assertive behavior resembles controlled aggression, in my opinion. It is mostly a matter of intensity. You can be assertive without communicating in a demanding, abrasive, or hostile manner. Be controlled and firm. Be steadfast and clear about your message. Present your message as a direct request. Do not present it as a demand or command. “Boss, I really think I should have been reimbursed.” Say that and stop being late for work.
Source: Marital Counseling