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  1. #1
    Dali
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    Default What is assertiveness to you...

    And how would you advise one to be more assertive?

    I'm sure you've looked at a few people and cursed under your breath about how they ought to grow a pair. Hell, when living out my ETJ shadow during stressful periods, I've looked at a few people and thought that they ought to grow a pair. Currently, I'm one of those people that ought to... you know.

    I find it very hard to strike a balance between being nice and being assertive and I often veer between being never says no to anything very nice and a total jerk. I can't just be assertive. I don't know how.

    My office is filled with ETs and EJs with the accompanying forceful personalities and, many a time, I find myself doing something I'd rather not do because I find it hard to say no. I'm in sales and marketing whereby social skills and 'team spirit' are appreciated greatly hence I can't be brusque or I might find myself being 'eased out' pretty soon. The funny thing is that I've noticed the (negative) correlation between how helpful I am and the respect that I get.

    So yeah, assertive but nice... how...?

  2. #2
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Assertive is not neccesarily a good trait. Unless you can force a reaction that you can expect before hand. Being blindly assertive probably gets you into sticky situations.

    Assertiveness to protect your self integrity is almost always a good thing though.

  3. #3
    half mystic, half skeksis jenocyde's Avatar
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    If something bothers you, simply speak up. You don't have to go into a long diatribe or give an endless explanation, just say it simply, honestly and politely. Leave no room for interpretation or counterarguments. Don't give excessive reasons unless asked. Don't use a million disclaimers or apologize for your stance.

    Ex:

    "I'm really sorry to bring this up, but my head hurts. I suffer from excruciating migraines which I find are triggered by loud music. Not that I'm saying that your music is loud or anything, but maybe, if it's ok with you, you can turn it down a bit. I hope I didn't offend you"

    vs.

    "Could you please turn your radio down? I'm finding it hard to concentrate. Thanks!"

  4. #4
    half mystic, half skeksis jenocyde's Avatar
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    "I don't have time to handle that project for you now, but if you're struggling with it, I can come by around 4 and help you for 15 mins or so"

  5. #5
    Dali
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post
    Assertive is not neccesarily a good trait. Unless you can force a reaction that you can expect before hand. Being blindly assertive probably gets you into sticky situations.
    I don't understand; blindly assertive? Surely, you mean 'aggressive'?


    Quote Originally Posted by jenocyde View Post
    If something bothers you, simply speak up. You don't have to go into a long diatribe or give an endless explanation, just say it simply, honestly and politely. Leave no room for interpretation or counterarguments. Don't give excessive reasons unless asked. Don't use a million disclaimers or apologize for your stance.
    Thank you Jenocyde and thanks for the examples. Problem is it seems so easy when I read it.. I'll let you know if it works.

  6. #6
    rawr Costrin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mo_(operalover) View Post
    I find it very hard to strike a balance between being nice and being assertive and I often veer between being never says no to anything very nice and a total jerk. I can't just be assertive. I don't know how.
    Being assertive is not the opposite of being nice. You can still be a jerk and be unassertive. You can assertively be nice, and assertively be mean. You can also be unassertively mean and unassertively nice (that's where I tend to fall most of the time).

    I tend to have the problem of not being proactive enough in expressing the and enacting the positive thoughts (not that I'm assertive in expressing my negative thoughts) that go through my head. Giving compliments, helping people, doing things unasked, etc.
    "All humour has a foundation of truth."
    - Costrin

  7. #7
    half mystic, half skeksis jenocyde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mo_(operalover) View Post
    Problem is it seems so easy when I read it.. I'll let you know if it works.
    I know it can be difficult to stand up to someone, or to make your intentions plain, but it helps if you remember that we are all humans. There is no hierarchy among us. No one is better or worse than you. You are entitled to the same amount of respect that you bestow upon others. If you don't believe that about yourself, no one will.

  8. #8
    morose bourgeoisie
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    Serious question...
    What do you thik would happen if you were assertive? Are you afraid that others would get mad, or stop liking you?

  9. #9
    Dali
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    Quote Originally Posted by Costrin View Post
    I tend to have the problem of not being proactive enough in expressing the and enacting the positive thoughts (not that I'm assertive in expressing my negative thoughts) that go through my head. Giving compliments, helping people, doing things unasked, etc.
    I'm your opposite in that regard. I'm almost too proactive in doing any 'positive' thing unasked. I can't stand to see it undone and will jump and volunteer to do it... or say yes when asked and then resent both myself and the other person later if I felt forced into it.

    When I'm in jerk mode (as I was for almost 1.5 yrs and just got out of it a few months ago), the gloves come off and I have no problem telling people to piss off. But I really don't want to get back into that once more and I want to grow from what I am and into a nice, assertive person rather than regressing into the aggressive jerk I was.


    Quote Originally Posted by jenocyde View Post
    I know it can be difficult to stand up to someone, or to make your intentions plain, but it helps if you remember that we are all humans. There is no hierarchy among us. No one is better or worse than you. You are entitled to the same amount of respect that you bestow upon others. If you don't believe that about yourself, no one will.
    I'll try to keep that in mind. Just visualising that makes it seem easier.


    Quote Originally Posted by nebbykoo View Post
    Serious question...
    What do you thik would happen if you were assertive? Are you afraid that others would get mad, or stop liking you?
    Honestly, a little bit of both. I detest and am drained by confrontations.

  10. #10
    morose bourgeoisie
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    People won't get mad if you say NO. If they do, it's something internal to them, and has nothing to do with you.


    Why do you assume that stating your preference will incite anger or confrontation? That's something to figure out. Then maybe you can reframe it, and begin to see that your anticipation of hostility is no longer accurate. It may have been so in the isolated instance that created this way of thinking for you, but it is surely not the case anymore.

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