Believe it or not, assertiveness is a skill. If you do not feel very assertive it could be because you just haven’t learned how to be yet.
So what are the downsides to not being assertive. Well, there are quite a few. Firstly the most damaging which is usually clear to spot is aggression! I am sure we have all been on the receiving end of aggressive behaviour at some point and we are all probably a little guilty of this ourselves (even if way in the past). If you have been on the receiving end you will know how this can affect us and how it can damage relationships. If you tend to react aggressively then you may find people start to avoid interacting with you for fear of your reactions.
Whilst it can be easy to spot aggression and the damage this can do most people overlook passive aggressive behaviour’s in themselves and others. Passive aggression is an indirect expression of anger by someone who is not comfortable or feels unable to express their feelings honestly and openly. No, you didn’t shout at him and tell him what you really thought but you did mutter it under your breath as you were walking away! This can be a lot worse than ‘letting off steam’ at the moment. When you are passive aggressive not only are you building resentment within yourself by not addressing things head on, you are also potentially damaging current and future relationships.
Individuals can lack assertiveness for a number of reasons. Many people adopt a passive response because they lack confidence and have a strong need to be liked by others. Sadly some people do not regard themselves as equals and they place greater weight on the rights, wishes and feelings of others. Being passive results in failure to communicate thoughts or feelings and results in people doing things they really do not want to do in the hope that they might please others. This also means that they allow others to take responsibility, to lead and make decisions for them which can be very detrimental.
Here are some examples of assertive behaviour:
Assertiveness provides several other benefits that can help you both in your workplace and in other areas of your life. In general, assertive people:
Why not book onto one of our Assertiveness Workshops to find out more. You can find out more here:
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