People who have mastered the skill of assertiveness are greatly able to reduce the level of interpersonal conflict in their lives, thereby reducing a major source of stress. When assertive people face problems, they focus on solutions rather than problems, thereby able to resolve conflict successfully. Ultimately, assertive attitudes and behaviors are at the core of living healthy and productive life.
Non-assertive people may be passive or aggressive. Passive individuals are not committed to their own rights and allow others to infringe on their rights rather than to stand up and speak out. On the other hand, aggressive persons are strongly defending their own rights but are also violating the rights of others. Additionally, aggressive individuals insist that their feelings and needs take precedence over other people’s. They also tend to blame others for problems instead of offering solutions.
Lack of assertiveness promotes also low self esteem and social anxiety. While engaging in assertive behavior is rewarding and leads to positive self-esteem and more fulfilling life. Whenever you see someone being assertive, rather than passive, aggressive, or both, you are witnessing an act of healthy self-esteem. Whenever you see someone verbally attacking others to get what they want, or being indirect about what they want, or silently enduring something they don’t want, you’re witnessing the result and perpetuation of injured self-esteem. So, while it’s clear that having high self-esteem makes it easier to practice assertive communication, it should also be noted that acting assertively promotes healthy self-esteem.
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