Assertiveness Training Could it Be Useful to You

Dr. Purushothaman
September 30, 2013

Do you feel like you are unsuccessful in communicating and relating to other people? Do people seem to constantly talk over you as you speak? Are you a door mat, submitting to the will of others without so much as a thought to do otherwise? Or do you fall at the other end of the spectrum--the person who forces others to submit to your will? If you feel like any of these sentences clearly describe you, perhaps you should consider completing an assertiveness training course.

Training courses are usually taken by individuals who are interested in improving their relationship with others. Relationships can be severely wounded if one of the people is either being dominated or is dominating others. The first lesson assertiveness teachers usually begin with is an explanation of the three main types of communication: aggressive, passive, and assertive. Understanding the difference between these is the key to getting the most out of an assertiveness class.


What is aggressiveness? It is all about showing your supremacy or power to others. Every time you force another person to surrender to your will, you are in fact telling that person that their thoughts and feelings do not matter. Now you may think “I cannot be an aggressive person because I never lay a hand on anyone” right? Not exactly. While violence is considered a common characteristic of aggression, it is not necessary. Aggression can be expressed through threats, harsh words, and even silent gestures such as the way you stand or hold your arms.


Passiveness is the polar opposite of aggression. A passive person submits to the desires of others, no matter how they feel about what is said or done to them. While you may think that putting the wishes and emotions of others before your own is a noble thing, the truth is that you are doing a great harm to your relationships. When you revert to passiveness to avoid conflict, you are stopping yourself from resolving the underlying manner. Simply giving in is not the solution.


Both being aggressive and being passive is a show of disrespect, the former toward others and the latter towards yourself. Luckily, you do have another choice: you can opt to be assertive. What is assertiveness? It is a kind of behavior that is typified by confidence in oneself. Assertive people do not allow themselves to be dominated by the aggressive. They also do not expect submission from passive individuals. Through assertiveness you can respect the feelings of others while still respecting yourself.

Does assertiveness sound like a characteristic that is lacking in your personality? You can develop this required skill of expressing yourself successfully by attending assertiveness training courses. There are many classes out there to consider. You should look for one that will include information on assertiveness as well as actual exercises designed to help you assert yourself effectively. These courses can help individuals learn and protect their undeniable rights as human beings. Once you complete the training, you can be confident in yourself and stand up for what you believe, all while respecting the people in your life.

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