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“Assertiveness is a manner in which you communicate your feelings, thoughts, beliefs, wishes, needs, desires and opinions while also being considerate of the rights of others. Assertiveness is about taking off the masks and daring to be authentic. In being assertive you dare to be present, visible, unique, opinionated, flawed, vulnerable and yet strong and determined about your convictions and your rights… ”

1.In responding to criticism “… It is important to separate criticism about something said and done and about who you are as a person and your value. …Opinions and emotions change over time. Who you are, your capacities and talents, norms, values, personality and all other components that make and define you as a person are stable and constant. If someone said stop being so stupid, that implies to your behaviour or something said. That does not make you stupid. There is no change in your IQ, for example, before the behaviour or after. The behaviour choice might have been stupid or perceived by the other person as stupid, but that does not mean that you are stupid…. ”

2.”In saying no you are refusing the specific request and choosing to do what is good for you at that moment. You are not rejecting the person or the relationship… Being assertive and sometimes saying no also sends a message that when you do follow up on the request or do something for others, that it comes directly from your heart and out of your personal choice rather than from a place of “having to do it”, discomfort or fear of rejection…. ”

3…. “Choosing to respond assertively to a setback does not imply that you do not feel sad, frustrated, disappointed or even pain. It just means that you choose to react to a difficult situation in a more controlled, productive, helpful and effective manner. It is a normal human reaction to feel negative emotions when confronted with difficulties, disillusionments, frustrations and setbacks. The assertive element is in the way you choose to deal with it. Instead of perceiving it as a failure, you consciously choose to perceive the disappointment as a learning opportunity and an obstacle in your path that you need to overcome. You take it as a challenge…. ”

4.”Assertive reactions to receiving compliment implies taking it in the spirit in which it was given thus positively. Embracing positive comments and accepting compliments with poise and openness also gives a positive feeling to the compliment giver and the interaction itself…..Compliments are small gifts of flattery from others, which you should gladly accept, indulge and spoil yourself with, treasure and always remember in difficult times… ”

5.”When you are not saying what you really feel or think you can end up fulfilling other people’s needs or wants rather than your own. When you behave in a way that is incongruent with your needs, wishes and desires, you will lose your authenticity, your sense of purpose and direction, in addition to the feeling that you have control in your life… ”

6.”Self-compassion does not imply that you always evaluate yourself positively; rather it is based on being non-judgmental and realistic. Recognizing, admitting and accepting that your weakness and strengths co-exist and form who you are as an individual. It is about accepting that you are imperfect just as others are. It implies accepting that you don’t need to be better than others in order to feel good about yourself. You just need to be genuine and accept yourself as a whole. When you start believing in your own worth, importance and that you deserve to protect your rights then you will think and behave more assertively…”

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This article is based on excerpts from my new book: Be Assertive! Be your authentic self! . Itis available in a paperback format from Amazon’s European websites, Amazon.com,CreateSpace eStore and other retail outlets. Link: http://amzn.com/151521401X