There are a plenty of tests that can give us the quick answer to this question, but I think the most important answer is our own analysis of our emotional state.
How do we act when situation goes outside of our control? Maybe not the way we wanted? How do we treat people around us, when we feel frustrated and disappointed?
I invite you to think how assertive you are in difficult situations, with people that care about you. I think you will agree with me that in majority of cases our most precious hearts are the ones who become affected the most, by our bad mood, by our non willingness to listen or understand another part?
What does it mean being NON assertive? Avoiding or attacking.
Avoiding the conflict situation, might be sometimes useful, however if you care about relationship, this will need to be taken care of.
Attacking, another response in some certain situations, which can never be helpful in any of the relationship.
What does it mean being assertive? Emotional awareness, respect to ourselves and others.
Its very important to communicate to others how do we feel about certain behaviors. Another person has the right to know what is happening with us and why we are unhappy with the current situation. We can express and explain what is that we do not like.
This is a real art, to express our emotions without judging the other? Have you ever tried it? If not I invite you to convert into a great artist and start practicing!
Example of non assertive comment: You don’t care about my plans because you always arrange the way its more convenient to you!
Example of assertive comment: It makes ME FEEL very sad WHEN you arrange your plans without sharing them with me
The difference is that in the second example you explain, how do you feel WHEN another person acts in one way or another
The person who cares about you, and knows (very important!) what makes you sad or frustrated, most probably will not repeat it again. You express your emotions and point on exact behaviors which made you feel frustrated, not judging the person.
Respect to ourselves and to others:
This is pretty obvious, right? However how many times do we lose patience and with patience we lose respect? Defending our position with respect towards other, is the key. This means listening and trying to understand the other, imagining what would you do if you had the same situation? Knowing how to say NO, when it’s needed.
Now I would like to invite you to complete the below exercise and solve any of your life situation in an assertive way:
Describe disappointing situation that you recently had
Who participated in this situation?
What did you think?
How did you feel?
How did you act? (What was your non-assertive and impulsive response?)
What could be the positive intention of the other?
How would you change the situation? (Assertive and appropriate response)
Recently I realized how easily we can lose important people in our lives, just because we are not willing to understand another part. Just because another part never understood what has happened, we lose the contact, we become distant and our friendship, love or family relationships are falling apart. The key is to express ourselves, to speak with each other, to understand the person in front of us, to accept that we are all very different, and what we think and feel not necessarily will be reflected in other’s mind. However if that person or group is important for us, it’s worth trying to solve the situation in an assertive way.
Definitely worth trying to maintain healthy relationship, respecting each other differences, rather than losing important pieces of our lives.
When was the last time you expressed your emotions without judging the person in front of you?