What is assertiveness? Well, it is defined as the ability to express yourself assertively and in a non-confrontational manner, and it’s a very important skill in the world of healing and relationships. In the world of psychotherapy and psychology, it’s a basic skill that is often learned and in some cases a more natural mode of communicating. However, in my experience assertiveness has many benefits for both clients and therapists alike, and I’ll discuss some below.
When someone is assertive, it can help us to: Be more motivated to reach a goal – You might think that all you need to do is to make an intelligent decision and get your work done, but when you are assertive, you have the ability to be more motivated. You’re less likely to feel frustrated or overwhelmed by things, and this can help you to complete tasks and goals much more quickly and easily. If you can make an intelligent decision and challenge others to do it, you can often have more success. It’s kind of the ‘law of momentum’ at work, so to speak.
Be more assertive with a particular behavior – One of the greatest benefits of assertiveness is that it can help you to better deal with people who may be acting in an unruly or abusive way. There are times when a person is behaving in a way that makes it clear that they don’t like you, and in those times you might want to simply ignore them or turn the other cheek, but in the course of doing so you could potentially be talking about yourself and your needs in a very passive response. By being assertive, by saying something like “You’re being way too passive, and I need you to be a little more aggressive” or something similar, you can actually bring the fight to the table instead of just ignoring it.
Be more confident in how you interact with others – If you’re feeling less confident in yourself, perhaps you’re not being as open and honest with yourself as you should be. Or maybe you aren’t dressing or speaking in a way that’s more appropriate for your personality. In these cases, you can use the power of assertiveness to address these issues by asserting your own opinions, ideas, and feelings. You can then proceed to confidently say and do things that will be a boost to your general level of confidence.
Learn how to deal with aggressive behavior – Many people are surprised to learn that there’s an aggression model known as the Five Factor Model, which helps people to identify how they can change their behavior to become more assertive. By identifying ways in which you can change the way you act, you can then practice these assertive skills and gain an edge over other people. It’s not always easy to change your aggressive behavior when you feel like you’ve been set up or abused, but with the help of the Five Factor Model you can get a grip and start changing the way you behave. After all, if you don’t feel like you’re in control, how will you know when you’re not?
There’s no need to be timid about using assertiveness – In general, just seeing that you are assertive in small ways will help us become more confident and therefore assertive in more challenging situations. When you see that other people treat you with respect, even when they disagree with you, this sends out a powerful message. When you understand that you can assert your point of view and that others will respect it too, you can feel better about making decisions based on what is reasonable. This in turn will help us to be more respectful of ourselves, of others, and of other people in general.