Since in my coaching exercises I talk more and more about assertiveness, a thought always comes to mind, that could be interesting to think about: where are the limits of assertiveness? Is there any? Is assertiveness something that, if one has too much of, can get hurt? Does it give addiction? If I am one of those people who were never assertive and then I start speaking up more, will I become addicted? Will I say NO to everyone like the beginning of the movie "Yes Man, automatically and with no regrets?
And again.. Reading is indeed a life saver. In the book "The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem"
(Nathaniel Branden), the author answers this question. Assertiveness is something that does not equal to being aggressive; the opposite! It is a healthy protection and a compromise between my needs and the others' needs. And if this is well balanced, the results are great, because boundaries are clear to everyone, as well as personal limits.
There are certain things that need to be taken into account, because indeed some people are assertive naturally, whereas others would like to be more. No matter in which area you would like to be more assertive, these factors are important:
- Self-value: Do you value your own opinion? Do you believe in the values you claim to have and therefore claim them when you see they might be betrayed?
- Boundaries and limits: Are you aware of your boundaries and your limits? Do you think you are invincible and that you are never tired, like you can take on really really a lot from anyone? Do you have deal breakers? Do you know when you feel FREE?
Sometimes it is hard to say what you really think. Assertiveness is sometimes mixed with up with cheekiness and poor manners/attitude. If you are using your assertiveness with politeness and respect, NEVER EVER REGRET WHAT YOU SAID! You said something because you believed in it, and the results might not come in due time, but they will come.
Speaking up is related to truth as well. If we have been raised with the thought that it is better to lie than to upset others, being assertive might come uneasy. And yet, the liberating truths can tell us so much about ourselves and our self-perspective. Try it! See how it feels to say something you really think, even to your boss!
If you want some more "recipe" of assertiveness and a companion who holds your hand, here I am :) JUST A CLICK AWAY...