Why being Assertive is Necessary for Health . A Personal Account.

Why being Assertive is Necessary for Health  

Assertiveness is something people deeply desire but are afraid or reluctant to possess.

It is a lack of assertiveness, in normal situations, that creates a lot of future distress and suffering. This future suffering can affect not only your mental and physical health. It can result in you inflicting such suffering on the people you most love and trust.

So what is assertiveness? To me it is expressing what you believe in an honest, open and non-hostile way. It is standing up for what you believe in, without an insistence that others agree.

Many people believe that it is wrong to say what they feel. That it is selfish to be assertive and something they have no right to be. However, I assert that being assertive is your absolute birth-right. I believe that nobody should be denied this right, either by themselves or by others.

I believe that assertiveness should be taught to all children and that it should be fostered and encouraged. If everyone were assertive, I sincerely believe we would have healthier, happier and more peaceful relationships: and a more peaceful and vibrant world.

A lack of assertiveness skills can result in physical illness such as high blood pressure and emotional problems such as anger, anxiety and depression.

I believe everybody has the right to be heard and also the need to be heard. Being assertive is not selfish, it is essential for self-care. Sadly, many of us have learnt that others know best and that we should be submissive and passive. Many have learnt that the world is a hostile place and that the only way to succeed is to be aggressive.

Being passive or aggressive may work for a little while. But in the end will probably lead to resentment, frustration, despair and fears. At my anxious worst, I developed two fears: fear of disapproval (a classic fear among passive people) and emotophobia. The latter is a fear of expressing or accepting difficult emotions, due maybe to lacking self-worth or self-esteem or accepting a victim mentality.

There are many ways of becoming assertive: such as writing down what you want to say beforehand (scripting), sticking by your decisions by repeating them without making excuses or over-talking (the broken record technique) and role-play. See recommended reading below.

From a personal experience, I have discovered, that being assertive can set you free, help you live a more complete and fulfilling life, fill you with a sense of achievement and authenticity and assist in the development and enhancement of personal friendships.

By being more assertive, although I have much more to practice in this regard, you will find that others understand you more fully and clearly. You will find after a while that people will respect you more as a person and appreciate that when you say “no”, say to an unreasonable request, you mean no!

As you become more assertive you may find, like me, a new spring in your step and naturally live with your head held high. Your may become more confident, find an inner joy, be more expressive and more spontaneous.

You may still meet with adversity and obstacles will still get in your way. However, in so doing you will be more likely to express yourself in a calm and peaceful way and find great joy in doing so. I firmly believe that living assertively is one of the keys to avoiding or recovering from much unnecessary physical and mental ailments.

 

Toby

December 2011

 

Suggested Reading:

Teach Yourself be More Assertive (Teach Yourself General) 2010 by Suzie Hayman

Web Sites:

http://ingenira.hubpages.com/hub/How-Do-You-Rate-Yourself-on-Assertiveness

http://www.assertiveness.org.uk/

http://www.ehow.com/how_5169934_increase-assertiveness-skills.html

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