What Is Assertiveness?
Assertiveness is a key skill that can help you to better manage yourself, people and situations. It can help you to influence others in order to gain acceptance, agreement or behavior change.
It is the ability to express your opinions positively and with confidence. Assertive people are in control of themselves and are honest with themselves and others.
Assertiveness vs. Aggression
It's not always easy to identify truly assertive behavior.
This is because there's a fine line between assertiveness and aggression, and people can often confuse the two.
For this reason, it's useful to define the two behaviors so that we can clearly separate them:
- Assertiveness is based on balance. It requires being forthright about your wants and needs, while still considering the rights, needs and wants of others. When you're assertive, you are self-assured and draw power from this to get your point across firmly, fairly and with empathy.
- Aggressive behavior is based on winning. You do what is in your own best interest without regard for the rights, needs, feelings, or desires of other people. When you're aggressive, the power you use is selfish. You may come across as pushy or even bullying. You take what you want, often without asking.
The Benefits of Being Assertive
Being assertive allows you to communicate your wants and needs more authoritatively, while remaining fair and empathetic. It can also help you to become more self-confident, and even improve your mental health.