Webster’s defines assertive as disposed to or characterized by bold or confident statements and behavior. From my perspective, assertiveness is the blending of the ‘best’ qualities found in aggression and passivity, expressing your feelings but doing it in a way that does not degrade the other person or yourself.
It seems that being assertive in personal situations, when it often matters the most, is when we seem to find it so difficult. It seems ironic, that we would hide our needs and wants from the people closest to us, the people who probably care the most and often want for us the same things we want for ourselves.
In my experience, we often hide/mask our true selves to those closest to us out of fear. Fear that the other person can’t handle who we really are or fear that they won’t want to handle who we really are. Whether the fear is real or imagined, hiding who really are is not something most people can sustain forever. Eventually, what you really want comes to the surface.
Recently, both in my personal and professional life, I have run into people who don’t feel comfortable asking for simple things that everyone wants like connection, patience, someone to listen, quiet time, etc. Instead, each person stuffs their feels and hopes that the other person will just know what they need. That seems unfair.
What would it be like for you to challenge yourself to ask for what you need and want from the people around you?