Healing Love

Love is who we are, what we are seeking, and how we want to be received. Love is the most simple and most intricately complex aspect of life. Love teaches, love hurts and love heals. Remember to love yourself first.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Being Assertive Makes You Feel Good About Yourself

Being assertive is saying what you want and speaking up for yourself and your own needs and desires. Assertiveness involves expressing your wants and needs with clarity and conviction. Being assertive is an act of confidence and concern for your own well being.

But, you might ask, “Isn’t that just being selfish, self-serving, self-absorbed, and disinterested in the expressed wants and needs of others?” The answer is, “No.” When you are being assertive, you are expressing what you want and need but you are not demanding that others give you what you ask for.

Today I was assertive. I am captain of a tennis team and I wanted to play with a stronger partner than previously. So, I placed myself with someone I know is stronger and more consistent and wins a lot. But after I told my teammates the new lineup, two of them were perturbed. Each asked me separately, and very politely, to reconsider and put them together as partners for this next match. So, reluctantly, I conceded and did not get to play with the partner I had wanted.

But I felt so good expressing myself clearly and causing other people to have to explain their points of view. That gave me the freedom to either resist their wishes and aggressively charge onward with my own wants and needs or concede to their wishes, knowing that they have heard what I want.

When you are assertive, you offer others the possibility of negotiating with you. Each person is free to express what they want and desire. Perhaps you discuss the matter for awhile. Or, maybe you have no real power in the situation and you must concede to the other person’s requests. But even if you totally surrender to the other person’s desires, you have expressed what you feel is true for you and what you really want. And that person has heard you – even if they do not go along with what you say you want. And, perhaps some time in the future when you least expect it, that person will remember what you had asked for and actually offer it without your even having to ask. If not, at least you have not kept your feelings all bottled up inside.

Have you ever been totally passive in a situation? Or do you tend to be aggressive and bully or manipulate others into doing things your way and giving you what you want? If it is not already natural for you, try being assertive for the next few days - expressing what you want and encouraging others to express their desires - and then find yourself negotiating a solution. You might be surprised about how good you feel.

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