Human behavior is multidimensional phenomenon! It is indeed as fickle as nature is! It looks paradoxical that the same man behaves differently with different people at different times and behaves in the same fashion with different people at different times. He behaves similarly with all people at all times and with some people at times and differently with the same people at other times! His behavior is unpredictable indeed!

Being rigid is all right; but then rigidity does not pay at all times and there should be certain amount of flexibility also for a successful living.

We need to be assertive and in this write up we shall see some of the aspects of being assertive.
What is ‘assertiveness’? It is the ability to express oneself and his rights without infringing on the rights of others. It is in fact direct, open and honest communication and an expression of his thoughts without any ambiguity.

Modern HRD training programs are not complete without a session or two on “Assertiveness”. But it is an inborn trait that can not be acquired strictly from a training session, seminar or a text book. At the same time, it is not that one can have or not. If one desires, it must start from his self!

“Being assertive” some feel is “being aggressive”. Indeed it is not so and there is a vast difference between the two. The two are distinct sets of human behavior with different purposes and motivations.

E. Roosevelt wrote: “One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words, it is expressed in the choices one makes. In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility”.
Why ‘assertiveness’?

It is an attitude of the individual. Imbibing a healthy assertive attitude transforms all our dimensions and activities. Success of our relationship with others, our work, our habits in respect of food, clothing, shopping, reading, organizing our time, money etc. depend on this important trait. Our ability to express our views and feelings constructively with an open mind without any inhibition increases the chances of getting what we desire. This in turn helps in improving our self-esteem and self confidence. Ultimately we become more assertive.

The benefits of being ‘assertive’:
Assertive living improves our health by reducing stress level; energy generated has a beneficial impact on all systems of the body-immune system not excluded.
Assertive behavior will have positive consequences. When we assert ourselves, we feel more in control of our life and we do not feel helpless and frustrated.

How do we develop ‘assertiveness’?
Be clear in our thoughts and ideas.
Being honest and correct gives additional strength to assert.
Being fair and just without bias and prejudice strengthens our mind.

‘Being aggressive’ dents good relationship. At times, anger manifests through aggression. Anger never produces positive impact on others; indeed it breeds only contempt and disrespect. It raises blood pressure in the individual. In fact it repels the good from us.

Assertiveness is strongly associated with a sense of self-esteem. It benefits every aspect of one’s life including health. Let us, therefore, become more ‘assertive’ and less ‘aggressive’ and enjoy a life of joy and peace, success and harmony.


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