Why is Positive Assertiveness Important?
Steps to Assertiveness
- Communicate my expectations, needs, and wants to others. Positively assertive people & assertive leaders give others the chance to meet their needs and expectations by communicating them clearly.
- Feel you deserve to have your needs met. Some of us received childhood messages childhood that made us believe that other’s needs should come before our own. Believing this can create resentment, frustration, and a feeling of deprivation that may be expressed through passive aggressive or self-destructive behaviors. Every human being deserves to have their needs met and you are the one responsible for ensuring that your own needs are met.
Look for Win-Win Solutions
- When your wants or needs are in conflict with someone else, look for win-win solutions. Positive assertiveness means working to meet your needs, and if possible, meeting the needs of others.
- Avoid reacting to others. Accept responsibility for your feelings, thoughts, opinions, and actions. Your boss can’t make you mad, you allow yourself to be mad. As an adult, you have choices: you can choose to accept your boss’ behavior (because there is no other suitable alternative), you can tell her that her behavior is unacceptable, you can withdraw temporarily from the situation, you can withdraw permanently, or you can choose to be mad.
Intervene in Negative Behavior
- When possible, intervene in behavior that is abusive, aggressive, or critical toward you. Do you allow someone to verbally abuse you, criticize you, or be aggressive with you? If possible, you need to intervene in their unacceptable behavior to protect yourself and your psyche. An example of Positive Assertiveness: “The tone of voice you are using is unacceptable to me. Please lower your voice.”
- If they will not modify their behavior, avoid those who are aggressive, abusive, or critical of you. If you have requested a behavior change and no change occurs, you owe it to yourself to reduce or eliminate your contact with that person. Their negative thoughts enter your psyche and affect your ability to be the best you can be.
- Surround yourself with people who give you energy. Replace the negative people in your life with people who help you build your energy, confidence, and emotional reserves. Their positive thoughts, beliefs, and feelings are contagious and will put you on the road to being your best self.