All too often people confuse assertiveness with rudeness or aggression. Some say ‘I say it like it is!’ or think that brutal honesty which can often be hurtful is somehow assertive. Others still think that the opposite to being passive or a ‘pushover’ is to be tough minded and always get what you want. The truth is that truly assertive people are neither disrespectful, rude nor aggressive. Genuinely assertive people are considerate of others whilst diplomatically expressing their own thoughts, feelings, beliefs or values. They are neither passive or aggressive and they protect both their own rights and others rights when communicating.
Whilst we can choose our friends our family is determined for us and though we love them dearly disagreements and differences of opinion are inevitable – especially when considering generational clashes and the often complex dynamics between siblings, parents and children. Trying to empathize and learning to both understand and respect differences within our family is extremely beneficial but what do we do when conflict occurs? Learning how to be assertive is critical if we are to effectively communicate who we are as an individual, rather than who we think we should be or who others may want us to be.
If you would like to learn more about your personal rights and delve deeper into assertiveness please read ‘How to free yourself and assert your rights’ and ‘Assertiveness and you; A journey worth taking’.
Do you know any truly assertive people? How do you handle family conflict? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community, we’d love to hear from you.