Assertiveness is when we have strong self-esteem and maintain healthy boundaries. Assertive communication is direct and clear and makes space for the other person.
When we are assertive, we tend to experience less anxiety and depression because we can stand in our truth while attempting to understand how the other person feels about what is being discussed.
Assertiveness brings with it a greater sense of agency. We tend to feel less anxious, and less depressed and have improved self-esteem and relationships.
Why we avoid being assertive:
- Thinking we will be judged or rejected
- Assuming the other person will be upset
- Not knowing what we want
- Doubting the validity of our needs
- Deep down, feeling unworthy
- Feeling like making a stand will be a waste of time
- Avoiding potentially uncomfortable situations and conflict
- Lacking the skills to communicate assertively
When faced with all the reasons we avoid being assertive, it is helpful to remember the potential benefits.
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Adapted from: Phycology today – Seth Gillihan