We all know that saying, ‘Good girls go to heaven bad girls go everywhere’. Well, in some situations, it is true. I won’t discuss about being mean, but about being assertive, that is being self-assured and confident without being aggressive. Sometimes, people mistake assertiveness with being mean but while the latter implies bad intentions on your behalf, being assertive is just a way of achieving what you want, of expressing your ideas and beliefs in a firm, clear way. Dorland’s Medical Dictionary defines assertiveness as: “a form of behavior characterized by a confident declaration or affirmation of a statement.’’ And I’ll tell you a short story that shows why it is good to follow your own goals, to stand up for your opinions and beliefs, to be confident and self-assured.
I’ve read an interview with Helen Gurley Brown (the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine for 32 years) where she talked about her high school years in Little Rock, Arkansas. The story goes that once, her teacher asked the class a question: Who was the most important person to them in the world? After some conventional responses like ‘Mom, Dad or God’, the teacher declared, to the contrary: ‘The most important person to any of you is yourself.’
It is true. We should always keep this story in mind. Everyone and I mean everyone is focused on their own needs, desires and so on. Who says otherwise it’s not being true to himself and/or the people around. But the thing is that some people take this to the extreme, their sole purpose in life being to satisfy their needs, even if that means to hurt other people’s feelings. Well this is the sort of people with whom it’s good to act in an assertive way.
Being assertive will help you in so many ways.
- It will be easier to achieve your goals. Assertive women break free of the chain of self-renunciation typical of their docile sisters, and get what they want-on the job or in personal relationships. Being an assertive person does not make you aggressive it means having or showing determination and energetic pursuit of your ends.
- You will stand out from the crowd, by displaying individuality and not trying to please at any price. The “”good girls”” are the majority of women, conditioned to believe that by being nice, self-sacrificing and unobtrusive they’ll keep a man or a job.
- You will make your voice heard. By making firm demands without the fear of offend somebody, people will pay attention when you speak. Assertive people feel free to express their feelings, thoughts, and desires.
- You will never be considered a fool. You know what they say: Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. There are some people that treat you bad and they deserve a firm attitude. That does not make you a mean person, but a person that does not take crap from other people.
- You will not get hurt so easily. If you treat people that have a bad attitude the way they deserve it, you will have around you only the people that mean you well. By rejecting the bad, you will attract good.
- You will be more attractive for men. The innocent damsel in distress attitude is not appealing to guys anymore. In our era, men seek for independent, confident women, not for a docile partner.
- You will have control over your anger. This does not mean that you repress this feeling; it means that you control anger and talk about it in a reasoning manner.
- Least, but not last: Several research studies have identified assertiveness training as a useful tool in the prevention of alcohol-use disorders. Psychological skills in general including assertiveness and social skills have been posed as intervention for a variety of disorders.