3 things that could determine if you are really assertive.
Being assertive is a skill that many people attributes to themselves without knowing the full qualities of real assertiveness. Here are three aspects that could determine if you are really mastering this skill.
Are you aggressive?
Many people confuse assertiveness with speaking what they think or feel without hesitation or fear. However, being honest does not imply taking the care and kindness part out of the equation. The word assertiveness has changed over time; in the 60s it meant confidence to declare your rights. However, the word assertiveness evolved with a psychological perspective to include a calm and positive communication.
When you communicate your opinions and desires, being careful and empathetic with the other person’s fillings is equally important as being honest and direct. You could come across as aggressive even if you do not use aggressive words. Aggressiveness could be perceived in your body language, in your overconfident attitude, and it could be perceived as arrogant.
Assertiveness requires tack and elegance to convey your message without your emotional weight or pride. Instead, you can deliver a clean and true message by being impeccable with your words.
Are you passive?
If you are the kind of person that avoids conflict at any cost, you are probably not an assertive person. Silence, avoidance even with the positive intention of preserving peace is not healthy. When you decide to keep thoughts and emotions to yourself with the hope that the other person realizes at some point what your expectations are, you are setting that relationship up for failure. Assertiveness requires a two-way open communication and connection. Conflict is an opportunity to grow and to know yourself through the eyes of others. When you go silence you break that connection, you close the door to others.
Being assertive is not expressing your real feelings or thoughts only to a selected group of people. On the contrary, assertiveness resides on integrity, and you can’t be true to yourself if your true self depends on external factors.
Are you feeling guilty?
Having the courage to provide feedback to someone or to communicate your final decision is one thing and feeling at peace after the fact is another story. If you feel bad after communicating a difficult decision or you regret your words or feel guilty about them, even when you know it was the right thing to do; you are not fully assertive.
Assertiveness implies a certain level of coherence and confidence where you know you are giving your best, and you keep your peace of mind because you speak with awareness and from your heart.