Assertiveness can be defined as the ability to express your needs to others in a way that is respectful and will address your needs without violating the needs of other people. For many reasons, many people struggle with being assertive in their personal or professional relationships.
Some people have a fear of saying no or hurting the other person's feelings. Others have a disregard for other people's feelings altogether. Oftentimes, this is often rooted in a person's lack of self-esteem or appropriate communication skills.
Lacking assertiveness is not healthy for many reasons. If a person is too passive and doesn't express his needs but, rather, constantly succumbs to the wishes of other people, that person will likely become frustrated as his own needs aren't being met. This person may often act aggressively toward others in frustration, which can take the form of abuse (verbal, emotional, or physical) or an intent to cause others pain.
As this behavior causes distress in relationships, the person will find himself in a more difficult position than if he had expressed his needs appropriately. He may find that he hurt both the other person as well as himself as a result of the behavior. Further, if one's needs aren't being adequately expressed or if he feels misunderstood by others, he may withdraw altogether, which can lead to depression.
If you feel you struggle with assertiveness and would like to speak with a professional about how to be more comfortable with asserting yourself, please contact us today.
We look forward to working with you and helping you improve your relationships.