First of all, what do I mean by assertiveness? Assertiveness is essentially getting what you want through your faith and confidence in yourself, without being aggressive or obnoxious. According to Webster, to assert is to state positively with great confidence but with no objective proof. You can assert your right to be who you are, to think what you think, to feel what you feel, to be illogical if you please, to be inconsistent or arbitrary if you wish, and to get what you want in all aspects of your life. Most of us don’t do this. We let ourselves be manipulated by other people, we get talked out of what we want much of the time, and worst of all, we end up feeling that there is something wrong with us for being the way we are.
Using the information in this article, you can change all this. You can learn to positively assert yourself and to have a better life and more secure self-image. You learn to release your own inherent and natural inner strength.
It will help you greatly to listen to a recording specially prepared to help you become assertive. I recommend it. There is no charge for this powerful recording. Just email me your request… email@example.com.
Three main aspects of assertiveness are covered in this recording; how to get what you want in everyday transactions, how to own your thoughts, feelings and actions; and how to avoid being manipulated or put down in close relationships. First of all let’s talk about everyday transactions, how to get what you want from someone else, or how to keep someone else from getting something from you that you don’t want to give to them. For example, you could be returning a defective article to a store after having lost the receipt, or you could be successfully refusing to lend your lawnmower to your neighbor.
It is fairly easy to be assertive in this type of transaction, as the person you are dealing with is usually not very close to you, and you don’t have to worry very much about the relationship between the two of you. All you have to do is to clearly state what you want every time you reply to the person, and to stay calm and not get involved in emotions and defenses that could lead to your being manipulated. It takes a little practice, but it generally turns out in the end to be fun. You just hold your ground calmly and confidently, and are as persistent as you wish to be. You let the other person try every logical, illogical and emotional ploy that he can find. The chances are that if you calmly persist you will get your way most of the time. It doesn’t always work, but it sure improves your odds. All it takes is self-confidence and courage, and the consistent use of this recording will give you both over a period of time.
The second area of assertiveness concerns your thoughts, attitudes and emotions, and your right to be any way that you want to be without justifying yourself to anyone. There seems to be a group of people in this world who specialize in making other people feel wrong, and they do this in many ways. They can make you feel wrong for the way you dress, or the way you drive your car, for the way you think, or especially for the way you feel. They tell you that it’s wrong to feel angry, or to be unhappy. They might say something like “How can you possibly feel that way?” If you are a human being living in our society you undoubtedly know several people who periodically treat you this way. You may even be lucky enough to have one or more in your immediate family.
What you should know is that your emotions are always correct for you. They express your relationship with your world, as they tell you what is going on with you and let you communicate your feelings to other people. Your feelings are exclusively yours, and they are right for you. No one can tell you how you should feel. Only you know.
Probably the most difficult area for assertiveness is in close relationships. It can be very difficult to avoid being manipulated or put down by close friends or lovers, your husband or wife, or your parents or children. There are two aspects to being assertive in close relationships.
The first part is awareness; to recognize when you are being manipulated or put down. It’s often hard to be aware of what’s happening. It might help you to think of some of the couples you know where one person periodically destroys the other, without any apparent awareness by either of them. Now, you are always aware at some level when you are being manipulated or put down, as you either feel physically uncomfortable in some part of your body, or you feel emotionally uncomfortable and have the feeling that something is wrong, or you space out. The trouble is you don’t always let yourself be aware of your awareness.
As you practice both assertiveness and awareness, you will find that you steadily become more sensitive to all aspects of your life. The Assertiveness recording that is available to you can be immensely helpful. A major benefit that you will receive from the use of this recording is a gradual and steady increase in your awareness of everything that is going on around you and within you, a general increase in sensitivity that will help you open up your world for yourself.
The second aspect of assertiveness in close relationships is the use of your awareness of what is going on to make a conscious decision about what to do. It may be that you decide to do nothing, which is perfectly all right, as you will find that your awareness of the situation will cause change in itself. Your reactions will change all by themselves and this in turn will cause the situation to change. Or, you may decide to confront the situation, to state clearly what is happening within you and what seems to be happening between the two of you. Or, you may simply ask the other person to stop what they are doing. It’s all up to you, and you will automatically find the best way to handle the situation once you achieve awareness. Once again, the key to both awareness and subsequent action is positive self-image and self-confidence, along with the willingness to take risks.
Are you really serious about becoming more assertive and having a better life? I hope so, and I hope that you are willing to take some positive actions in addition to using the knowledge that you are acquiring. Two things you can do are to read books on Assertiveness Training, and to attend group meetings on this subject. Assertiveness Training groups can be found through the telephone directory or through psychological referral services. Two books you might read are “When I Say No I Feel Guilty” and “Your Perfect Right”. You will find these books plus many more on the subject in your bookstore or library, or on Amazon.
Have any questions? Feel free to send me a message. firstname.lastname@example.org.