by Dorothy Wehunt
Assertiveness is a powerful form of communication that you can use to take care of yourself while building positive relationships. If you assert yourself appropriately on a regular basis, you build self-esteem to the degree that you:
Express your needs and wants.
If you ask for what you want using assertiveness, you are telling the other person, “I count” or “I matter.” Then, to assert yourself is to give yourself respect. If the other person honors your request, you enhance your self-respect even more.
Stand up for yourself.
When you stand up for yourself, you are protecting your rights or from taking advantage of you. Each of us has rights. Standing up for your rights is respecting yourself and showing others how to respect you.
Taking action(s) to meet your needs and wants, reach your goals, and stand up for yourself is taking responsibility for your life.
When you state your needs, wants, feelings, opinions, thoughts, or beliefs, and concerns to others, you affirm who you are.
Take control of your emotions.
Express your needs and wants and say No to get them met and live by your values. Doing so prevents you from feelings of frustration, stress, bitterness, resentment, anger, etc., which leads to aggressive or negative behavior. So, when you assert yourself, you gain respect and increase self-respect.
Saying No to keep someone from taking advantage of you or rescuing you prevents you from becoming a victim. Expressing your strengths to affirm your competence in the workplace can protect your job. With sincere and honest words, you can handle criticism effectively to disarm it and affirm yourself to avoid internalizing the criticism. Using communication to own your feelings and perspectives, not to transfer or impose them on others, prevents external conflict and the associated stress. Expressing your needs, opinions, feelings, rights, etc. and saying no to meet your needs keeps you from beating up on yourself for not doing so.
Saying “Yes” and “No” to meet your needs and wants and live by your values is saying YES to yourself. It is living with integrity.
Bring balance to your life.
Saying “Yes” and “No” brings stability and peace to your life. If you begin asserting yourself today, you will notice that you feel better about yourself.
If you begin asserting yourself today, you will notice that you feel better about yourself.
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