By Jacinta Rini

Assertiveness is the ability to communicate what we want, feel and think to other people without ignoring other people feeling but still appreciate their rights. To behave assertively, someone has to be honest to himself and honest in expressing his feeling, opinion and needs proportionally, without any means to manipulate, use or harm other people.

What is The Different Between Aggressive and Non-Assertive?
Someone is assertive only if he is able to act sincerely and honestly in expressing his feeling, thought, and point of view to other people, so he does not harm or injure other people’s integrity. In the other side, aggressive tends to show expression abuses, harms, contemptuous and even controls other people. There is inappreciative in interaction or communication.
Attitude or aggressive behavior tends to adverse other people because sometimes it blames, humiliates, attacks (verbally or physically), overreacts, insists, endangers, teases (like critics or commands which is unpleasant to hear), satirizes or deliberately spreads the gossips.
Someone becomes non-assertive if he fails to express his feeling, thought and point of view or belief; or if he express his behavior in particular way so that other people will give response which is unpleasant or negative.

Why do People Dislike Being Assertive?
Mostly, people dislike being assertive because in he has a fear to disappoint other people. He is afraid if at the end he is disliked or not accepted. Another reason why people dislike being assertive is because they want to maintain “the existence of relationship” and avoid hurting other people. Actually by letting ourselves to behave non-assertively (hiding feeling or argument) will threat relationship because one of the sides will feel used.

How assertive are you?
These are some questions you can ask to yourselves as indicators of assertiveness.
- Whether you are used to express your feeling or opinion clearly to other people.
- Whether you ask for help to someone else when you really need help?
- Whether you ask questions to other people when you are in uncertainty?
- Whether you are able to give your view openly when you are not in the same opinion with other people?
- Whether you often speak in front of the class or public?
- Whether you are able to say “no” when you don’t want to do that job?
- Whether you speak with confidence and communicate warmly?
- Whether you are looking at the face of your partner when you are speaking to him?

Tips For Being Assertive
These are the tips how to say “no” to the request.

  1. Define the right attitude, whether you want to approve or not. If you are not sure with your choice, then you can ask for chance to think until you get the certainty. If you are already sure with your choice, then it will be easier to tell and you are will be more confident.
  2. If you are still confused with what they want from you, ask to get the clarification.
  3. Give the clarification of your disapproval clearly, briefly and logically. The detail explanation will only arise argument from other people.
  4. Use the decisive words. Say “no” will be better than “I think I am not quite disagree….I think I am in the same opinion with you….I don’t think I can….”
  5. Be sure, your body language express the same ‘language” with your thought and your verbalization. Sometimes people do not show the refusal directly, but with the they laugh and smile instead.
  6. Use the words “ I won’t….” or “ I have decided to…” is better than “I find it difficult to…”. Saying “ I already decided to…” shows explicit attitude or the behavior you really want to show.
  7. If you fine someone who continually pushes you whereas already continually refuse, the alternative attitude or action you can do is ignoring, shifting the conversation or even stopping the communication.
  8. You don’t have to ask for apology for the refusal that you say (because you think that the refusal will hurt or annoy someone else). Actually it will be better for you to say empaticly like : “I understand that this news is not a reassuring news for you, but I have already decided to…”
  9. Don’t be easier to feeling guilty! You are not responsible for the life of other people or for the happiness for other people.
  10. You can negosiate with other people, so that both side will get the way out without sacrificing the feeling, wishes or interest of each side.

Uploaded By : erwin
Last Update : 17/07/2004

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