Thursday, July 5, 2012

Assertiveness Skills Essay

 Reflective Essay on Assertiveness

Using Assertiveness in Difficult Situations
In psychology, assertive behavior is referred to as one’s ability to formulate one’s opinion, to stand up for oneself, and to express oneself in a non-aggressive respectful way. Assertive behavior can be carried out only when one knows exactly where one stands and approaches the world from one’s standpoint. Being assertive helps individuals get what they want peacefully without engaging into conflicts with the other parties. Thus, such behavior creates a win-win situation for both sides of a situation (Estroff Marano, 2007).


Learning how to be assertive is vital for every individual. This skill has become especially vital in today’s world, which is no longer controlled by aggressive bullies or Mafiosi, but by assertive and communicative people who know how to achieve what they want without stepping all over their opponents. Thus, it is crucial today for everyone to learn how to be assertive in order to raise self-esteem, learn how to resist emotional bullying and blackmail, and become a great communicator to achieve professional and personal goals.

What has to be distinguished is the fact that assertive behavior is very much different from aggressive behavior. Both assertive and aggressive behaviors are a communication of opinions. Though, while assertiveness is a direct, honest and non-aggressive communication of such, aggressiveness is a pushy pursuit based on achieving something at the expense of others. Assertive behavior is a sing of maturity for only a mature person understands that no point can be proven by shouting or humiliating, and that while honest and calm words are always heard, aggressive ones only build up the tension.

In addition to the above information, assertiveness is a very useful tool to use in difficult problematic situations. Such situations always require patience and self-control, which are achieved by assertiveness. Thus, it is very important to learn to be assertive particularly in difficult situations.

According to the research presented by the University of Southern Queensland, there are several types of assertiveness that one can acquire. There is basic assertiveness that includes free expressing of feelings. This type of assertiveness can be very useful in a difficult situation because it shows the opponent that one is opening up and is willing to work on a problem. Second type of assertiveness is empathic assertiveness that is recognizing the feelings of others. Next type is escalating assertiveness. This kind of assertiveness is applied when the first two types of assertiveness are not successful. At this stage a person can mention particular resulting actions. Finally, the last type of assertiveness is I-language assertiveness, it consists of three parts: stating the problem, stating what effect it has, and then stating what one would prefer. All these kinds of assertive behavior can be used when dealing with a difficult situation. Such behavior patterns help one solve problems effectively and efficiently without conflicting and aggression.

Some people are blessed to be born with assertive skills, while others can learn how to develop them. Surely, assertiveness requires practice and does not become a second nature immediately. Though, once acquired this skill becomes indispensable in every area of one’s life.
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