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Practical Assertiveness

Updated on October 15, 2015


In a highly complex society like ours in which we constantly interact with others, just as observe acceptance, self-esteem, assertiveness and efficiency as well as shyness, anxiety, fear of rejection or aggression. The difference between a behavior and another is in the skill to establish proper communication.

Develop the ability to express our feelings, preferences, opinions, and know how to defend our rights without offending others is vital; and all it summed up in one concept: assertiveness.

Fight or aggression versus escape or passivity

While we fight and escape in common with the lower animals that survive today, what particularly distinguishes us from other species is our brain, big, new, vertebral and able to solve problems; evolutionarily formed by the action of successive layers on the primitive animal brain: more always more automatic and predetermined.

Three main forms of behavior for the survival of humans

Thanks to our most highly developed and better achieved ancestors, we have three main modes of behavior for survival and the relationship with others:

1. The struggle - attack - aggressiveness
2. The ability to think, feel and express verbally - assertiveness
3. The escape - escape - no assertiveness or passivity

The fight and escape from danger are reactions that we inherited from our prehuman ancestors. Communicate verbally with each other and solve our problems assertively includes a progressive conquest of our species.

Assertiveness Scale

Learn to think logically and rationally

"Everything is under the eye of the beholder". The individual differences

Always keep in mind, in a proactive way, individual differences, is indispensable initial element to think logically and rationally .
Each one of us has their own way of perceiving what is happening around us; the perception is defined as a phenomenon of integration of sensory information. Given the fact that each individual is unique, unrepeatable and incomparable consequently perceives the world according to its own history and will react according to their learning experiences and culture that has developed. Similarly, perception is influenced by values, attitudes and beliefs that explains why individual differences.

But sharing our experiences with others at the things, events or situations, it allows us to approach perceiving reality objectively, because our world view is not necessarily even the right or only way to perceive it.
Therefore, individual differences in human relations can definitely enrich rather than be an obstacle for them. This can be achieved if we are willing to show an attitude of openness and flexibility to understand others.

Here is an exercise that allows us to experience the perception graphically presented.

The figure presented below allow graphically experience perception; sharing experience enriches our perception and reveals individual differences.

Look carefully at the figure and type what you see in it in the lines corresponding to the personal response; then show them to another person or persons to share and enrich the experience.

Figure A

Personal Answer


Answer of others


Funny video in which a glass of irregular Rubin gives the feeling of two people talking.

Irrational Ideas that Hinder Assertive Thought

This item refers directly and specifically to certain ideas that were probably learned and that sustain our fear of rejection and acceptance, surely conceal feelings of guilt, anxiety, insecurity or inferiority.

But what are the ideas behind our disturbing emotions? How we were trained from the social group to hurt us so easily? What follows are basic ideas that underlie Ellis as our emotional imbalances. Note that the ideas listed are considered "good" by most people.

Identify the ideas with which you agree. Choose the number of ideas that you agree completely or partially.

An adult has a pressing need to be loved and approved by almost everyone in almost everything he does.

See results

One must be competent, capable and efficient in every possible aspect

See results

It's terrible, horrendous and catastrophic that things are not going the way you wanted to be

See results

Irrational Ideas

1. Achieving the agreement of the other
"An adult has the need to be loved and approved by almost everyone in almost everything he does"

  • Consider approval of others as a desirable but necessary goal.
  • Take into account the criticism of others seriously with corrective mood, without cruelly injury because of _ negative opinions.

2. Uproot from the Fear of Failure
"One must be competent, capable and efficient in every possible aspect"

  • Try to improve your own achievements; if you want to strive to be better than you currently are, but you do not fool yourself believing you'll be a better person if you reach your goal.
  • You must want to work hard for success in the chosen field, but prepare to accept failures as undesirable, not as terrible, considering that hasn't have to do with your intrinsic value as a human being.

3. Achieve harmony despite frustration
"It's terrible, horrendous and catastrophic things do not go the way they should be"

  • When conditions are not like you refer they were, quietly and purposefully try to improve them, and if in this moment that is not adjustable, the only sensible thing to do is accept, expect and plan for when it finally comes time you can change them.
  • You must accept the fact that the situation is bad or undesirable, but not catastrophic and unbearable.

Key Points:

Being assertive means knowing where the fine line is between assertion and aggression and balancing on it. It means having a strong sense of yourself and acknowledging that you deserve to get what you want. And it means standing up for yourself even in the most difficult situations. Assertiveness can be learned and developed, and although it won't happen overnight, by practicing the techniques presented here you will slowly become more confident in expressing your needs and wants. As your assertiveness improves, so will your productivity and efficiency. Start today and begin to see how being assertive allows you to work with people to accomplish tasks, solve problems, and reach solutions.


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    • carolchezsan profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolina Sánchez Victoria 

      3 years ago from México

      Thanks Mike

    • profile image

      Mike Simon 

      3 years ago

      Awesome article


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