The Art of Assertiveness

CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal)  Assertiveness is an important life skill that can be learned.  Here with tips is Ken Dolan-Del Vecchio, Author, Family Therapist, Health and Wellness Executive.

The Art of Assertiveness

  • Assertiveness means recognizing our own needs and striving to fill them. This requires speaking up about what we need from others.
  • Assertiveness begins with understanding that one is as important, valuable, and worthy of respect as everyone else.
  • Assertiveness is a personality style that both gives and commands respect.
  • We demonstrate assertiveness with our words, tone and behavior.
  • Because many people confuse assertiveness with aggression, below are some important differences between the two:
    • Assertiveness delivers and invites mutual respect. Aggression delivers and invites hostility.
    • Assertiveness relies upon looking within oneself to identify one’s own needs, sufficient self-respect to value them, and the courage to work toward meeting them. Assertiveness balances this effort by recognizing the needs of others and valuing those also. Aggression tries to satisfy one’s own needs while disregarding the needs of others.
    • Assertiveness holds positive intentions. Aggression often seeks to hurt, take from, overpower, or diminish others.
    • Assertiveness seeks mutual understanding and mutual success. Aggression seeks to win.
    • Assertiveness strives for fairness. Aggression strives for dominance.
    • It can help to keep this motto in mind: Say what you mean, mean what you say, but don’t say it mean.
  • Assertiveness is an important life skill that can be learned.
  • Each of us deserves to be assertive about our needs.

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