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Counselor’s Hub: Be Assertive
21 Jan
  • Counselor’s Hub: Be Assertive

What is assertiveness?

Assertiveness is a kind of confidence. Assertiveness could be seen as the balance between two other kinds of behavior- passiveness and aggression. While we all have the capacity to slip into these communication styles we should always strive for assertiveness. The key to assertiveness is a clear, open, and honest discussion that does not blame, ridicule, or put other people down.

Assertive people respect, The Golden Rule,” treat others the way you want them to treat you.”

When we slip into being too confident it can sound demanding, tantrum, sulking, hitting, shouting and look and feel aggressive to others. Too little confidence can sound like whining, crying, begging, hinting, looking and feeling passive. When you use aggressive and passive ways to get what you want you to feel bad and so does everyone else around you. Being assertive is being honest without being rude or hurtful, it is asking for what you want respectfully. Assertive people stay calm, can accept criticism, are open to new ideas and other people enjoy having them as a member of their teams.

Assertiveness takes time, it doesn’t just happen and is a skill that we all can learn. 

Try this simple family Choice Game
•    Sit down with a family member
•    Start by each telling the other 5 things you Have to do. Such as….’I have to go to school/work” “I have to do my homework first when I get home” “I have to prepare dinner” “I have to go to bed at 9:00”
•    Now say the same things and this time say…. “I Choose to ….” Instead of I Have to” for example “I choose to prepare dinner for my family to keep them eating healthy food”
•    Share with each other your new 5 things and how it felt to say, “Have to” and “Choose to”.

Which is easier to say? How did you feel when you used the word choose compared to have?

What we say affects what we THINK, and what we think affects what we FEEL, and what we feel affects what we DO or ACT. THINK, FEEL, ACT is at the heart of cognitive behavior therapy. To put it simply, change your thinking and it will change your feelings and actions or behavior.

Once you become used to this style of assertive communication, you’ll be able to see how it can improve your relationships with your children, partner, parents, friends and your life in general. 

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact School Counselor at schoolcounselor@msb.edu.cn