Healthy assertion – assertiveness—is being able to communicate our opinions, thoughts, needs, and feelings in a direct, honest and appropriate manner. It involves active listening to what others have to say so that communication can be enhanced. When we are nonassertive, we are communicating much less than we really mean and are denying our own rights.
Being assertive results in gaining confidence and having more control over your life. Assertiveness is taking responsibility to meet your own needs, which will in turn increase your self esteem. Being assertive includes the ability to choose how to relate to others and then knowing how to communicate in a way that others will understand. You have a choice in how you react to others and you have a responsibility to speak up for yourself in the process.
Being assertive means:
- Valuing yourself and believing that you have the right to express your opinions and get your needs met.
- Being willing to share your thoughts with others, rather than holding everything inside which eventually turns to anger.
- Respecting the rights and needs of others.
- Being able to choose how to respond to people or situations.
- Feeling okay about yourself, your needs and actions.
When you are under assertive, you do not express your feelings, needs, and opinions to others. You deny your own rights to communicate. Emotionally, when you are under assertive, you erode your self esteem and you criticize yourself for not being able to say what you really think or what you really want. When under assertion builds over time, anger will eventually show up and even aggression and explosive behavior.
You can get into a vicious cycle by bottling up your feelings, reaching a boiling point, exploding, feeling guilty because you exploded and then go back to suppressing your needs. The cycle will continue unless you learn a new way expressing yourself. The way out of this cycle is assertive communication.
At angermanagementonline.com we not only work on recognizing anger, we teach you how to get your needs met with assertive communication. Anger management isn’t always just about managing anger. A very critical part of managing your anger is to speak up with clear and assertive communication so that everyone can understand what you need and want and you are respected for having your feelings.
Get out of the constant cycle of keeping quiet to be the good guy, suppressing your feelings, feeling guilty and anxious, blowing up because you can’t take it anymore and then going back to holding it all in again. Sticking up for yourself starts now. Learning a new communication style to get you what you need and want starts today.