Expressing your own thoughts, opinions, views and feelings is a very important skill. Equally important is the ability to say “no”, that is, to refuse others in uncomfortable situations for us-when we do not agree with the views of others, or do not feel like doing something. In psychology, this attitude is called assertiveness.
Assertiveness is somewhere between submissiveness and aggressiveness. It is “a subtle balancing act between defending one’s own borders and selfishness”. We maintain our separateness, we draw a clear line between us and other people. At the same time, we do not seek to impose our opinion on the environment and are able to communicate constructively with other people.
How to acquire such skills?
First of all-faith in yourself.
Self-confidence is the basis for assertive behavior. It is worth considering carefully whether the particular view we present is important to us and whether we definitely think it is right. If so, it’s good to put yourself in that position. The feeling of greater self-respect when we say ” no ” at a given moment is proof that such behavior was desired by us.
It’s easier for us to say no when we believe in ourselves. You can practice this, for example, by pointing out your advantages, strengths, achievements, as well as positive opinions from others about us.
“Yes” is also assertiveness.
Assertiveness is most often associated simply with denial. However, this is a significant narrowing of the concept. In addition to rejecting what we consider inappropriate for ourselves, it is also worth knowing how to accept.
When we are able to perform tasks on our own and with someone else’s help, when we are able to accept both praise and criticism, it means that assertive behavior is our ability. It also has to do with self-esteem. If it is too low we will not believe in the sincerity of the compliment and every criticism will offend us, instead of building.
Assertiveness and criticism
As already mentioned above, the ability to accept criticism is also one of the characteristics of an assertive person. This involves actively working through what we have heard. The criticism may be justified. It is worth then to take it and use it for yourself. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes we are criticized unfairly. In this case, it is good to oppose criticism as clearly as possible your own opinion.
An important part of assertiveness is constructive criticism. It is not only about taking it, but also about expressing it. If we express our thoughts in a clear way, without generalizations, pointing to facts, specific behavior and emotions-we criticize constructively. Also, the presentation of alternative solutions under consideration by both sides, helps to resolve conflicts without harm to those involved in them.
Directing your life among other people
Assertiveness is a very important aspect of our lives. However, it is good to remember about other people in all this. Nothing will happen if we sometimes compromise in favor of helping someone close to us, or improving our relationship with the other person. Small renunciations, which do not affect our sense of value and at the same time improve the quality of our coexistence with the environment, are as good as possible.
Assertive human rights:
- The right to express one’s opinion and emotions adequately to the situation.
- Privacy – we don’t have to say what we don’t want to say.
- Independent decision-making, which also entails bearing their consequences.
- No need to get involved in other people’s problems. We have the right to say no.
- The right to make mistakes and the opportunity to learn from them.
- Changing your mind. If we find that the other option is more suitable for us, we have every right to change our mind.
- The right to ask for help for yourself, considering that we may encounter a refusal.
- The right to not know, not to know something.
How do you say “no”?
- with appropriate intonation,
- without additives (Type: “I can not, because, but…”),
- without getting into unnecessary discussions and translations.