Assertive people have sets of beliefs that help them to be assertive. If you want to find out what you need to do to become an assertive person, examine your beliefs. Here is a set of questions to help you examine your beliefs:
- What do I think about this belief?
- Where did I get this belief (past outcome, education, media, environment, creative thinking)?
- How old was I when I adopted this belief?
- Is this belief good for me to have?
Here are the different sets of beliefs of assertive, aggressive and passive people. Pay attention to your behavior as it is a reflection of your thoughts and beliefs as the feelings that you have inside will affect your behavior. I have written different types of feelings in the form of an assessment to allow you to check just how assertive you are.
Assertive: In conflict, I use “I” at the beginning of a sentence.
Aggressive: In conflict, I use “You” at the beginning of the sentence
Passive: In conflict, I take a step back. I do not like conflicts.
Assertive: I believe that I need to learn assertiveness for my benefit and not for others.
Aggressive: I am not going to try to be assertive for others.
Passive: I believe that I need to learn assertiveness so others to feel good.
Assertive: Being assertive is my choice.
Aggressive: I cannot control my anger.
Passive: There is nothing I can do about my feelings.
Assertive: When others resist my assertiveness, I restate my assertive statements, but stay assertive.
Aggressive: When others resist my assertiveness, I get angry and become aggressive.
Passive: When others resist my assertiveness, I give up.
Assertive: I cannot control how others respond, but I can control my own responses.
Aggressive: I can control how others respond but I cannot control my own responses.
Passive: I cannot control how others respond and I cannot control my own responses.
Assertive: During childhood, I received messages about communication that emphasized the uncomfortable feelings that arise in confrontations, but I am not a child anymore and I can choose to have different thoughts about confrontations.
Aggressive: During childhood, I received messages about communication that emphasized the uncomfortable feelings that arise in confrontation, and I am not letting anyone else make me feel uncomfortable. I prefer that they feel uncomfortable.
Passive: During childhood, I received messages about communication that emphasized the uncomfortable feelings that arise in confrontations and there is nothing I can do about it.
Assertive: I believe assertiveness is a learned skill, and I am convinced I get better with practice.
Aggressive: I respond to other people’s actions. People make me angry.
Passive: People are born with a particular character that cannot be changed.
Assertive: Compromise is a last resort in a conflict, and I can compromise and still stay assertive.
Aggressive: I expect others to compromise.
Passive: In a conflict, I rather compromise than argue.
Assertive: When people do not think like me, I still respect them.
Aggressive: When people do not think like me, I am angry.
Passive: When people do not think like me, I am sad.
Assertive: I have the right to have my own feelings, thoughts, values and opinions.
Aggressive: I have the right to have my own feelings, thoughts, values and opinions and I can express them anyway I like.
Passive: People do not want to know about my feelings, thoughts, values and opinions and I had better keep them to myself.
Assertive: I do not need to justify or explain my actions to others.
Aggressive: I have the right to ask for an explanation and justification from others.
Passive: I always need to justify and explain my action to others.
Assertive: I have the right to tell others how I want them to treat me.
Aggressive: I can treat people anyway I like.
Passive: I need to learn to live with the way people treat me.
Assertive: I have the right to say “no” or “I don’t know”.
Aggressive: I always know.
Passive: If I say “no” or “I don’t know”, I am weak.
Assertive: I have the right to put myself first.
Aggressive: I need to show them who is in charge.
Passive: Thinking about myself is selfish and I need to consider others before I think about myself.
Assertive: I have the right to choose not to participate in things I do not want to.
Aggressive: If I do not want to participate in things, I make others participate in what I want to do.
Passive: I participate in things, even if I do not want to.
Assertive: You have the right to take the time you need to formulate your ideas before expressing them.
Aggressive: If I ask something, I expect an immediate answer.
Passive: When presented with an idea or a question, I have to answer immediately
Assertive: I have the right to change my mind.
Aggressive: People cannot change their minds just like that. They have to have a good explanation for doing this.
Passive: Once I have said something, I need to stick to it.
Assertive: I have the right to make mistakes.
Aggressive: People make mistakes when they are lazy and do not think properly and should be punished. If I make a mistake, I cover it up so I will not be punished.
Passive: If I make mistakes, I am weak and I have many regrets.
Here is an assertive formula that can help you with conflicts. Practice using it when you are by yourself, or use friends and supporters to help you. The more you practice, the better you get, and there will be fewer and fewer conflicts. Your success will help you build your self-esteem.
I feel … When you … because … . I want/need … .
- I feel disappointed when you read the paper while I am talking, because it is hard to communicate like this. I want you to look at me when I am talking.
- I feel angry when you watch TV instead of doing your homework, because we have agreed that homework comes first. I want you to respect the agreement we have made.
It is very important to be assertive with kids if you want to teach your kids assertiveness.
If you want to learn assertiveness, find ways to adopt some of the beliefs of assertive people. The energy around aggressive people is tense and people avoid their company. Passive people, on the other hand, are preoccupied with feeling weak and, in a way, are also hard to be around. Assertive people are more comfortable to communicate with. They manage to divert conflicts to discussion, and even if you do not like what they say, at least you do not have to second-guess your reaction to them, because you always know what they feel and what they expect.
Since self-esteem is connected to our ability to deal with conflicts, part 11 of the Self Esteem Mini Course, I will write about ways to handle conflict. Come back next week to read it or subscribe via RSS or email. Until then, choose the assertive way.
This post is part of the series Self Esteem Mini-Course:
- What Is Self Esteem?
- How School Promotes Low Self Esteem
- Beliefs and Where They Come From
- Social Identity
- Service Your Self-Esteem
- Your Self-Esteem Checklist
- How to Get Rid of Doubts
- Assertiveness and Self Esteem
- How to Be Assertive
- Self Esteem Mini-Course (10): Beliefs of Assertive People
- Self Esteem Mini-Course (11): Ronit Baras’ Success Experience Theory
- Self Esteem Mini-Course (12): Ms Self Esteem has an Identity Crisis
- Self Esteem Mini-Course (13): Conflict Resolution
- Self Esteem Mini-Course (14): Watch Your language or Lose Your Kids’ Trust
- Self Esteem Mini-Course (15): War between Two Minds
- Self Esteem Mini-Course (16): What if
- Self Esteem Mini-Course (17): What do I Think?
- Self Esteem Mini-Course (18): What?
- Self Esteem Mini Course (19): Damaging Kids’ Self Esteem
- Self Esteem Mini Course (20): Boosting Kids’ Self Esteem