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Assertiveness is a trait taught by many personal development experts and psychotherapists and the subject of many popular self-help books. It is linked to self-esteem and considered an important communication skill.
As a communication style and strategy, assertiveness is distinguished from aggression and passivity. How people deal with personal boundaries; their own and those of other people, helps to distinguish between these three concepts. Passive communicators do not defend their own personal boundaries and thus allow aggressive people to harm or otherwise unduly influence them. They are also typically not likely to risk trying to influence anyone else. Aggressive people do not respect the personal boundaries of others and thus are liable to harm others while trying to influence them. A person communicates assertively by not being afraid to speak his or her mind or trying to influence others, but doing so in a way that respects the personal boundaries of others. They are also willing to defend themselves against aggressive incursions.
Assertive style of behavior is to interact with people while standing up for your rights. Being assertive is to one's benefit most of the time but it does not mean that one always gets what he/she wants. The result of being assertive is that 1) you feel good about yourself 2) other people know how to deal with you and there is nothing vague about dealing with you.
Assertive people have the following characteristics[How to reference and link to summary or text]:
- They feel free to express their feelings, thoughts, and desires.
- They know their rights.
- They have control over their anger. It does not mean that they repress this feeling. It means that they control it for a moment and then talk about it later in a logical way.
- They have a good understanding of feelings of the person they are communicating with.
(The above information is not particularly accurate)
Therapy for assertiveness difficulties
- Main article: Assertiveness training
- Smith, M. J. (1975). When I say no, I feel guilty. New York: Bantam Books.
- Bower, S. A. & Bower, G. H. (1991). Asserting Yourself: A Practical Guide for Positive Change. 2nd ed. Reading, MA: Addison Wesley
- Robert E. Alberti and Michael L. Emmons (1992). Your Perfect Right : A Guide to Assertive Living. 6th ed. San Luis Obispo, CA: Impact Publishers
- Basic Concepts of Assertiveness Training
- Setting boundaries Appropriately: Assertiveness Training
- Overview of Assertiveness
- Assertiveness and Assertiveness Training
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