I’m really passionate about assertiveness.
I’ve witnessed the ways in which it can be transformational in a person’s life, leading them to:
– feel more empowered.
– ask, and get more of what they want.
– create more change in their life, such as finding a job where they’re more valued.
There’s another huge benefit of assertiveness that’s not talked about so much: increased intimacy in all your relationships.
When we think of assertiveness we usually think of it purely as a capacity to ask for what we want, or to state our boundaries.
Assertiveness is really quite simply direct feedback.
So if we see assertiveness as being about sharing ALL of our feedback, not just the difficult stuff, but also our care and appreciation then it creates greater intimacy.
This is about telling people how much they mean to you, and how their actions have impacted you.
For example, when you are touched that someone earnestly apologises to you – you acknowledge it, and tell that person clearly and directly how it has impacted you.
For example: “I’m really touched that you thought this over. Thank you for saying that. It means a lot to me.”
By responding in this way you’re telling that person that they can expect you to be receptive when they apologise, and to not attack them. You’ve just created greater trust and connection.
[If you’re thinking ” I shouldn’t have to thank someone for an apology that I’m entitled to” then you’re probably not going to get that many apologies. You will win, and it will probably feel ‘fair’ but you will cut yourself out of a relationship.]
Assertiveness means NOT telling our friends how much we care about our boyfriends. We tell our boyfriends. It’s not telling our mum how dad has massively impacted our life. We tell dad. We give direct feedback on ALL areas.
We always tell it to the person it directly involves.
This is a really powerful act.
It is about valuing your voice, and the power you have every day to touch and move those around you.