A Beautiful Mess

A Sexual Abuse and Addiction Recovery Blog

Assertiveness ((Topic Night))

on May 6, 2010

Last night’s topic was much needed and by the turnout, it’s obvious I’m not the only one.  Assertiveness is getting your point across effectively and respectfully.  It’s also being direct without negating, attacking or manipulating anyone.

It can be relative.

What may be assertive to some will be passive or aggressive to others depending on their view of the world and their own feelings.

But this is what we do know:

Submissive/Passive behavior is giving into someone else’s preferences while dismissing your own wants, rights and needs.  It can also represent saying nothing at all.

Aggressive behavior is making demands or communicating in a hostile or abrasive way with people.

Passive-Aggressive behavior is expressing negative feelings through an indirect, passive way as opposed to openly communicating with a person.

Manipulation is when someone guilts someone into doing something.  Instead of attempting to take responsibility for their needs, they play the martyr or victim in order to get what they want from someone.


Some things that really stuck with me when I walked out the door were:

I have a fear of displeasing people.  I am afraid of negative things that people may say about me.  But that person’s opinion is just that, an opinion.  It’s not a fact.  Quite frankly, what makes that person an expert in MY life?  ((I love, love, love this one))

I have a fear of people withdrawing their affection from me if I voice my opinion, rights, wants or needs.  But then I have to ask myself, if that happened, how real were those “affections” anyways, then?

A lot of times, our empathy will stand in the way of our ability to be assertive.  It’s okay to be sensitive to other people’s situations, but we must still practice our right to be assertive and our right to feel heard.  There will never be a perfect moment to discuss something with people so the more we prolong it, the more we can end up hurting ourselves.

Some pro’s to being more assertive in our lives: increased self esteem, more respect from others, we may actually get our needs met ((whoa!!)), feel heard and understood, better communication, more honest, and all around healthier relationships.

All in all, a very informational evening which shed some light on my communication tactics.  I definitely need to learn to be more Assertive 🙂  Next week is part II.  I’ll report back with my findings.  Until then, do whatever you can to ensure your own happiness and I will too!


4 responses to “Assertiveness ((Topic Night))

  1. Lisa says:

    I have a big problem with being assertive. I’m afraid people will not like me if I oppose them. Very interesting post.

  2. I have a hard time even asking for things to get my needs met. I also have a very hard time standing up to people if I feel that I will lose their affections. It’s caused me to be quite passive in a lot of situations. And then the threat of violence will definitely shut me up and cause me not to speak out, but it’s always about safety first. So in the case with the violence, it’s best to avoid the confrontation, get my butt out of there and make better choices on keeping safe in the future. I am still battling with this whole concept. Blah.

  3. Wow, this post is nice, my younger sister is analyzing such things, therefore I am going to let know her.

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