How To Be Assertive Without Being A Bully


How To Be Assertive Without Being A Bully
Setting boundaries in relationships is vital for respect.Read on for 4 characteristics of assertive.

Assertiveness-Getting What You Want

In the world today we are faced with many choices. We are all built with the instinct for fight or flight when faced with confrontation.


A bully can gain courage if you do not have to meet in person. Cyberbullying is becoming more and more rampant as people push the "send button" before really thinking through the ramifications of their acts.

Recently I ran into a situation where I was faced with a rude, nasty response to a birthday greeting I had sent to an acquaintance through Facebook. I hadn't realized the link to the free ebook I normally send to my Facebook friends on their birthday had been changed. The gentleman in question reacted by sending me a snarly note back chiding me for sending him marketing material in his birthday greeting.

Agressive, Passive or Assertive

My initial reaction was to fight back. I knew I had three options in my reaction to his note. I chose to be assertive and apologized for the error, explaining to him that it was unintentional.

Subsequently he wrote back with another extremely aggressive, rude note. I considered again how to respond. I decided this was the time to act in a more passive way. I did not respond because I knew this argument could go on and one, getting both of us nowhere and causing hurt feelings.

After some contemplation I decided to take  more assertive actions, I removed him as a friend on my Facebook account.

Confident People Know How and When to be Assertive.

They respect their own boundaries and the boundaries of others.Confidence means taking the high road and not reacting in kind when someone is angry or rude.  Confident people also do not assume everything is their fault or allow others to blame them.

By taking this action I defined that I have boundaries and would rather work with people who are pleasant to work with. The heart of assertative behavior is confidence.

I have found that when we set our boundaries, and make clear what we need, and what we find acceptable, then people are usually more willing to give it to us.

Set Boundaries of Behavior

One of the ways you can become a more assertive person is by taking responsibility for our own choices and actions.

The four major components of being an assertive person are:

  1. Clearly representing what you are thinking and feeling, both verbally and using body language.
  2. Making no apology for the way you feel.
  3. By refusing to manipulate others with false guilt.
  4. By never sacrificing others, you respect other people and they respect you in return.

State What You Want and Need

Assertiveness is clearly stating what you want and what you need as a means to an end. Being assertive does not mean you need to be pushy. You have the right to be human and take full responsibility for your actions.

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
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