Personal Skills – Assertiveness


Assertiveness is often associated with being aggressive or passive however, it is certainly not the case. Being assertive does not mean resorting to aggression it only entails standing up for yourself or advocating yourself in a manner which is proactive and positive.

Let’s understand this with the help of an example. Let’s imagine a scenario where you are not happy with the feedback or the treatment given to you by your boss. If you are an aggressive person you are likely to either curse your boss or even worse you may consider quitting as an expression of your anger or resentment.

Similarly, if you are a passive person you are likely to swallow your feelings which can lead you to become resentful. This in turn will build up stress in you thus negatively impacting your moral, productivity and performance at work.

However, if you are an assertiveness person you will either employ diplomacy, humor or professionalism to let your boss know of your feelings and how it is affecting you and your performance.

Factors that Influence Assertiveness

Many factors influence our assertiveness including

·      Belief System

A person’s belief system plays a huge role in the level of assertiveness. Many people would think of giving up assertiveness as they would want to annoy someone and prefer to keep everyone around them pleased.

Similarly, the fear of being abandoned can also drive people to weigh low on assertiveness. Similarly, the fear of rejection, criticism, losing a relationship, conflict and acrimony can also influence the level of assertiveness in individuals. People with low self-esteem on the other hand may find it difficult to raise their voice and demand their rights at all.

A part of it may also be attributed to brought up and while women brought up seem to impart in them a tendency to sacrifice their rights and desires for others men on the other hand may be brought up with a belief that they have more rights and deserve more.

Tips to be More Assertive

·      Review your Desire to please everyone all the Time

Review your desire to please everyone all the time especially try to identify your objective behind doing it.

·      Take Small Steps towards your Goal

Start with small steps towards being more assertive then gradually move to tough and difficult decisions.

·      Learn to Say No

If you are also the one who believes that saying “no” is selfishness then you need to think again. Saying no sometimes can save you a lot of hassle.

·      Don’t Assume that the Other Person Knows How you Feel

Many times we assume that the other person is familiar with how we feel which however, is not correct. Therefore, stay away from assuming and make it a point to express how you feel, your needs and your desires.

·      Don’t Fall Prey to Guilt

Many times we fall prey to guilt once we think of refusing or saying no to someone. However, remember that even if others have right over you so do you. Therefore, feel entitled to your rights too.


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