Overview of Assertiveness Training
Assertiveness is a fundamental tool in every sector of our life, be it at home, at your workplace, with your partner or school. Assertiveness facilitates communication since it enables you to express your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs directly. Furthermore, it helps you build healthier and more meaningful relationships with those around you and understand the correct use of body language.
Assertiveness training is founded on the belief that every individual has the right to express thoughts, feelings and needs respectfully. The inability to express these primal feelings can lead to mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. The individual’s relations are also likely to suffer.
There are no specific rules that define what assertive behaviour is since it’s largely based on the situation at hand. Behaviour that may be deemed as assertive for one person in one particular situation may be seen as too aggressive or passive in another case. Assertiveness training takes all of this into consideration, and therefore, bases training on the idea that assertiveness is a learned behaviour that is not dictated by our innate nature.
There’s a fine line between assertiveness and aggression. Because of this, they’re often confused. For this reason, it’s useful to differentiate the two by clearly defining the pillars of assertiveness and aggresiveness.
Assertiveness values Balance: Assertiveness is based on balance and perspective. It also stems from being clear about what you want and needs as an individual. However, while doing this, you also need to respect the wants and needs of others. An assertive individual is self-assured and draws power from this to get their point across firmly yet respectfully.
Aggressiveness values Winning: An aggressive individual only acknowledges their interests, dismissing others’ rights, needs and feelings. Selfishness is a critical element of aggressiveness.
Malta Leadership Institute
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