How to Be Assertive Without Being Arrogant

Assertiveness is a tool for building boundaries and learning to express oneself openly, honestly, fairly, and respectfully.
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A person who wants to experience her true self, a person who wants to get rid of all deception, and one who wants to have a sense of inner liberation, be actualized, be determined, and discover herself would benefit from learning to respect and express herself.

In order to learn self respect, one needs to learn her boundaries. A boundless human being is continuously feeling taken advantage of and such a person usually projects that by taking advantage of others. Assertiveness is a tool for building boundaries and learning to express oneself openly, honestly, fairly, and respectfully.

There are basically three types of behavioral patterns that people use to relate to each other: Aggressive, passive and assertive. Aggression is related to dominance, wanting to take advantage of others and crossing other people's boundaries. Aggressiveness happens when
one expresses her rights at the expense, deprivation or embarrassment of another. Aggression can become emotionally or physically vigorous, not allowing the other person's rights to surface.

The second category is passivity, which is submission to, and being invaded and devalued by
others. Passivity happens when a person submits to another's dominant behavior, putting her own wishes and desires aside to pay attention to fulfilling the wishes and desires of the dominant partner without having a sense of internal satisfaction.

The third category is assertiveness, which is the balanced form of the above two.
Assertiveness is the ability for self-expression in healthy ways without violating the rights of others and crossing their boundaries. Assertiveness is a straight, open, and sincere form of communication, which helps the individual feel a sense of self-enhancement, self-expression and self-confidence. It also helps one to receive and give more respect. Expressing one's thoughts and feelings in a way that clearly communicates the person's needs and intentions is a great way for a person to experience her true self.

In order to be able to get assertive, we must learn about and value our authentic selves. Being assertive is different than being selfish. Acting in selfish ways means that one is violating the rights of others and is satisfying her needs at the expense of other people, without their approval. When we learn to express our true self, we learn to take steps toward self liberation. A free and liberated self does not imply a person who has no boundaries and lacks

On the other hand, self-discipline is essential for a contented life, and a contented life is fundamental to a person seeking self-liberation. Self liberation is an inner feeling not an outer behavior. To get to an internal sense of freedom, we need to learn how to control our thoughts, behaviors and how to acknowledge our emotions. We also need to have boundaries and make sure it is valued. A boundary-less human can turn into a perplexed being who feels continuously confused, overwhelmed, and stressed.

We need to learn to improve our self esteem to be able to feel valued enough to express ourselves. Healthy self esteem is not something we can read about and learn. We need to put it into practice. The more we practice, the more we gain. First and foremost, we need to learn to have meaningful goals that match our abilities and interest. It does not matter how small or how big as long as they are reasonable and we are making progress with them. When we move toward our goals and accomplish them, we are nourishing the seed of self esteem. The goal should be personal, relevant to our own unique personality, capabilities and limitations.

We all have something we are good at. We need to find that and start its growth process. We need to stop comparing ourselves with others, the grass is always greener when seen from the distance. It is simply unfair to compare ourselves with others since we only see a facade of what others hold. Whether it is a TV image, a girlfriend that seems to have it all, or a co-worker who seems like a genius, we are not seeing the whole picture. We can observe others and learn from them, but we need to stop wanting to be like others.

The question should be: "How much improvement did I make since last year, month, week... ?" That is a good way to measure success. If we are moving forward, we are doing a great job and should start feeling content with it. And you may want to consider that we are physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual beings and we need to measure success in all areas and their growth. If one area grows and not the other, it may create conflict. We also need to learn how to respect ourselves; only a person who learns self respect, can give respect to others. The definition of respect is a personal one, and we need to figure out what it means for us to feel respected. Once we figure it out, we can start implementing.

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