Be in control, be Assertive...........Times of India, 11th May, 2006

 
 

 

Be in control, be Assertive

By Kapil Kakar

Have you come across a situation wherein you stood like a helpless mannequin and had to hear someone give you a piece of their mind? That too when you were faultless, but somehow you were unable to vindicate yourself.

Later on you may have contemplated and exclaimed, well this is how I could have reacted, this is what I could have told him, I should have given him a piece of my mind in this manner. However, it is too late by then. We are also left with the feeling of humiliation, helplessness, under confidence and low self-esteem. No matter how confident we may show ourselves to the world, we know deep inside how confident we actually are.

The only way we can counter these negative emotions and feelings is by being assertive. Assertivenesst is a way of expressing your true feeling in an appropriate manner, which makes you feel confident and in control of the situation. 

Feelings are the Key. Feeling is not thinking, it is the most natural and uncoloured actual expression of our reactions and us. However, after colouring our feelings with defensiveness and negativism, we convert it into thinking (negative) and start believing that what we think is what we feel. 

I might FEEL, what the other person is saying is wrong, however I will THINK, if I express my feelings, the person may get hurt and angry thereby spoiling my relationship with him. Moreover, we think, I should not spoil my relationship over petty matters unless someone has duped me with money. We tend to calculate Profit and Losses in terms of money. Forgetting in this non- monetary transaction, when we are being overpowered and we dent our ego, our confidence is at stake and emotions at loss. What we need to remember is, even our own self will not appreciate us unless and until we do not express our point of view. 

Also the other person does not get a chance to comprehend, what we want to put across. After all, he is not God and we need to inform/ explain things accordingly. Also addressing the issues and the feelings will make us feel nicer, more confident and bring us closer to ourselves.

Therefore one needs to be assertive. In a disagreement, accept that you disagree with the person. But do not overlook what is being told to you or be stoical. Make the other person see you have a different point of view, which you need to resolve. 

The impetus of discussion should only be on the facts and the specific issue that you disagree on. If ‘B' feels ‘A' always makes ‘B' do his work and when ‘B' needs help, ‘A' never extends his assistance; then if ‘B' keeps overlooking the situation ‘B' will sulk for being taken for granted and will also be called Timid. If ‘B' starts shouting this too will not resolve the matter but will end up in both of them accusing each other. Also ‘B' will miss on an opportunity from changing his behavior from Timid/Aggressive to being Assertive. 

So ‘B' needs to react to the specific situation by informing ‘A', that he needs to know why ‘A' has seldom helped him. ‘B' should discuss the specific present and past situations with ‘A'. The situations should be those which have happened between them and it should be only between ‘A', ‘B' and the situation. 

Differences should always be resolved with a win- win outcome. Going with the above example, ‘A' has been a winner and ‘B' a loser. This shows that A has been exploiting ‘B', and it was because, ‘B' was timid and did not have enough courage to tell ‘A' what he felt. A win- win situation would be that ‘A' starts showing his respect for ‘B' by helping him out or gives a valid reason, which should not make ‘B' feel it's an excuse and if ‘B' thinks its an excuse he should be assertive enough to tell ‘A'. 

You have the Right to say what you want to say, but in an appropriate manner. 

Others have the right to reject what you think. 

You have the right to reject what others think but with a logical aspect. 

You have the right to respect your self- respect provided you respect others. 

You have the right to defend your point of view and not be submissive. 

You have the right to communicate as long as you are talking sense.