Assertiveness is, in my opinion, a topic with a lot of baggage attached. For whatever reason, many of us are hesitant towards assertiveness, based on my own observations and experiences, and quite honestly, I’m not exactly sure where this hesitation comes from.
Perhaps some of us shy away from assertiveness because it has a negative connotation associated with its meaning. A lot of us affiliate assertiveness with dominance or aggression, and while these traits can be byproducts of assertiveness, they certainly don’t encompass the entire or overall meaning of the word.
Assertiveness is the idea of being confident as a person or in a situation. Forceful is a word that often presents itself with assertiveness, but I don’t necessarily think being assertive means being forceful. Assertiveness is an art, in a way, and knowing the ins and outs of how to be appropriately assertive can be a valuable tool in life.
One thing to keep in mind with being assertive is to know your boundaries. Confidence is a valuable skill to have, but coming across as aggressive or overbearing isn’t a great way to establish your presence in any given situation. There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance, and it’s one you don’t want to cross.
Another thing to remember when being assertive is to be careful to not blur the line between confidence and control. Confidence is one thing, but a need to be controlling and possessive and take full ownership in all situations is another. Stand your ground but remain open-minded and cooperative when it comes to new ideas.
Assertiveness is ultimately a somewhat tricky character trait to possess, but when exuded appropriately and effectively, it can be a respected and appreciated thing. Having a solid understanding of how to go about being assertive is a key component of the equation.