Becoming More Assertive: Ten Tips About Choices in Life

To many, the concept of improving assertiveness equates to becoming more aggressive. But this is in error. The Concise Oxford dictionary supplies the following definition: forthright, positive, though a second meaning is given as dogmatic.

None of us would wish to be known as difficult or intransigent! But many of us, I suspect – especially in these days of economic disempowerment – would like to be able make our voices heard above the babble, and quietly, and with dignity, stand by our opinions.

I’ve written, previously, about people pleasers, and looked at how we can go about managing conflicting priorities in specific situations. We talked about our need to expect respect, and how to promote dignity – qualities which, sadly, are often lacking in contemporary society. Today I want to write about the art of assertiveness as a life style choice.


Some years ago, I found myself going through a particularly difficult period of life. My daughter had died in suspicious circumstances, leaving a baby of eighteen months. My husband’s business was ailing, so I had to give up my career as an author and take on an administrative job to help keep us afloat. And, with a catastrophic breakdown in relationships in my family due to some ill-advised decisions made by my parents, I took on the role of peacemaker – only to find that instead of being seen as a mediator by some family members, I was made the scapegoat for all that had gone wrong.

The load I was had to shoulder was almost too much to bear. I knew that if I didn’t seek help I’d go under. Adamant that I didn’t want medication, I turned to a counsellor. Sometimes, you simply can’t go it alone! Here – with my own additions – are the points she raised in pulling me back from the abyss.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.