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How to develop assertiveness skills?

Updated on April 2, 2011

Many times you must have found yourself in situations when people have said something disheartening or discouraging to you which you didn't like but you were just not able to say anything back to them, thinking they will feel bad and the feeling of not being able to voice it out is hurting you more. This can happen with a close relationship, a friend at college, an office colleague, a relative, your boss, or anyone in this world. If this is the situation where you find yourself, then you must learn to develop assertiveness skills and conflict management at the same time.

According to me, assertiveness is a relationship management skill and an important trait that should be developed by all and should be induced by parents in kids from the starting phase of their life. But parents must remember that they don’t induce so much that their kids develop ego problem and start comparing them with others thinking they are always superior, as there is a very thin layer between being assertive and being egoistic, a simple mistake can ruin the life of an individual.

See the two monkeys in the pic. You have stop being like the one who is hiding behind the iron poles or being inferior, you have to be calm, polite, and lay down your thoughts clearly in front of others.
See the two monkeys in the pic. You have stop being like the one who is hiding behind the iron poles or being inferior, you have to be calm, polite, and lay down your thoughts clearly in front of others. | Source
Two baby monkeys with mother at Taj Mahal.
Two baby monkeys with mother at Taj Mahal. | Source
Spotted a cute baby monkey in front of Taj Mahal looking at my camera.
Spotted a cute baby monkey in front of Taj Mahal looking at my camera. | Source
Two monkeys in close relationship at Agra Fort.
Two monkeys in close relationship at Agra Fort. | Source

Being assertive gives us immense self-respect and also helps us respect others too and gain respect from people. For short term benefits, we try to please people and we please, please, and please till one day comes when we burst up with all those negative emotions piled up inside. And the final point is you cannot please everyone at all times and when one day you wake up and show displease, people don’t understand and think you are aggressive.

The basic thing in developing assertiveness is to have good self-esteem. When our self esteem is high and we respect ourselves, we automatically develop this trait and don’t allow others to take us for granted. It’s only when we feel down about ourselves, we let people trample us. First of all, we need to develop a good self-esteem and regard for ourselves. Also, assertiveness mostly comes by nurture, as it is developed by observing significant adults in our lives and the messages we get from them and also how they treated us in our growing years. All these play a vital role in developing assertiveness skills.

Assertiveness cannot be developed overnight but consciously and slowly we can develop it. It will put our mind immensely at ease. Have this thought that we are not inferior to anyone to put up with nonsense from others.

Now the next time when you are in a situation, speak up your thoughts not bluntly or in a manner that demeans others because this is called aggressiveness and the person in front of you will claim yourself as being aggressive. You need to put forward your thoughts calmly and clearly and get the message clear. You must be diplomatic at the same time to manage any conflicts that may arise which can happen initially but once you will clearly lay down your thoughts in the front of others, the other person will stop saying nonsense.

Least but not last, you can also read some books on developing assertiveness skills which can give you some theoretical ideas and points on developing this trait which is purely a matter of choice.


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    • soni2006 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajinder Soni 

      7 years ago from New Delhi, India

      You are totally Paradise. That's the main point, a person should not mix aggression with assertiveness, as this can lead to relationship failures. Don't take on heart and say back what you want to say in a polite manner. This is the way to go.

    • Paradise7 profile image


      7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Many times women seem to have a special problem with assertiveness. They seem to confuse assertiveness with aggression and react negatively to it. It can be a delicate line to draw, and it helps to know the individual person you're dealing with.


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