Assertiveness is a skill regularly referred to in social and communication skills training.
Being assertive means being able to stand up for your own or other people’s rights in a calm and positive way, without being either aggressive, or passively accepting ‘wrong’.
Assertive individuals are able to get their point across without upsetting others, or becoming upset themselves.
Although everyone acts in passive and aggressive ways from time to time, such ways of responding often result from a lack of self-confidence and are, therefore, inappropriate ways of interacting with others.
What is Assertiveness?
The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines assertiveness as:
“Forthright, positive, insistence on the recognition of one's rights”
In other words:
Assertiveness means standing up for your personal rights - expressing thoughts, feelings and beliefs in direct, honest and appropriate ways.
It is important to note also that:
By being assertive we should always respect the thoughts, feelings and beliefs of other people.
Those who behave assertively always respect the thoughts, feelings and beliefs of other people as well as their own.
Assertiveness concerns being able to express feelings, wishes, wants and desires appropriately and is an important personal and interpersonal skill. In all your interactions with other people, whether at home or at work, with employers, customers or colleagues, assertiveness can help you to express yourself in a clear, open and reasonable way, without undermining your own or others’ rights.
Assertiveness enables individuals to act in their own best interests, to stand up for themselves without undue anxiety, to express honest feelings comfortably and to express personal rights without denying the rights of others.