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. But there is a third way--it is to speak up with an assertative voice about what we really want and need in life.
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.
Assertitive, Aggresive or Passive
My initial reaction was to fight back. I knew I had three options in my reaction to his note: agressive, passive or assertive. 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 a 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.
By taking this action I defined that I have boundaries and would rather work with people who are pleasant to work with.
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.
One of the ways we 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:
- Clearly representing what we are thinking and feeling, both verbally and using body language.
- Having no apology for the way we feel.
- By refusing to manipulate others with false guilt.(Often called passive-agressive)
By never sacrificing others feelings, we respect other people and they respect us in return. (Agressive is taking or demanding what we want, no matter what other people need or desire.)