All About Assertiveness

Demonstrating assertiveness means there's no question where you stand, no matter the topic. Cognitively, to be assertive implies a lack of anxious thoughts in light of stress. Behaviorally, assertiveness is all about asking for what you want in a manner that respects others. Assertive people don't shy away from defending their points of view or goals, or from trying to influence others. In terms of affect, assertiveness means reacting to positive and negative emotions without aggression or resorting to passivity.

Recent posts on Assertiveness

There Is No Real Therapy Without Assessment

Therapy is ongoing assessment and assessment is ongoing case formulation.

Beware: On a First Date, Red Flags Can Look Red Hot

Beware dangerous liaisons. On a first date, exciting, assertive people perceived as desirable might be dangerous. Get to know prospective partners before getting involved.

Do You Ask for What You Want?

By Atalanta Beaumont on August 11, 2017 in Handy Hints for Humans
Ask for what you want, and surprise yourself by how often you get it.

How to Help Kids Manage Anger

Are you feeling embarrassed or baffled by your child's way of handling anger? You're not alone. Here's how to help.
Carl Pickhardt Ph.D.

Motivating Your Adolescent to Exercise

Regular physical exercise is a self-investment that provides many positive personal returns in adolescence.

Is Wonder Women an Expression of Androgynous Power?

For a woman, using power can be tricky. She risks being perceived as pushy and aggressive—after all, power is openly expected to be excised by men.

Uncovering Hidden Causes of Indecision

By Kimberly Key on July 24, 2017 in Counseling Keys
There is nothing more frustrating and disempowering than not being able to make a decision. Here are some tips for helping you find your desires and voice your truth.

Listening For Golf Balls

Why do patients tell doctors things that don't seem relevant? Who cares if they got hit by a golf ball 30 years ago? Patients do! Doctors should too. But they have to listen.

Your Personal Independence Day

It's Independence Day! Time to declare your own freedom from (psychological) bondage

The Ugly Truth About Silencing Women

By Renee Engeln Ph.D. on July 05, 2017 in Beauty Sick
When we ignore what women say in order to focus on how they look, we stifle meaningful debate and feed a culture that is already too saturated with appearance-driven commentary.

Seven Agreeable Ways to Be Disagreeable

When we know how to use our defiance wisely, we can move mountains. Unhappiness can turn into happiness, failure into success....

What Happens When Women Ask for Sex?

By Donna Barstow on June 30, 2017 in Ink Blots Cartoons
Upending the traditional roles of who wants sex more...will satisfy everyone.

Do You Mate Like a Cavewoman?

By Donna Barstow on June 26, 2017 in Ink Blots Cartoons
If you've never used Darwin in your dating practices before, you're missing out. Cavewomen had multiple orgasms without even trying.
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A Choose Your Own Adventure Guide to Building Relationships

We build our relationships upon the strengths and weaknesses of our parents, as well as our own. An exercise in discovering the challenges and the keys to overcoming them.

Feeling Powerful Changes How We Respond to Being Stared At

Perceiving ourselves to be higher in status can buffer us from feeling intimidated.

How to Keep Disagreements from Becoming Fights

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on June 21, 2017 in Ambigamy
Supreening: posturing or preening like you're the supreme judge deciding who's right—you or your opposition.
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Is Your Partner Passive-aggressive?

Passive-aggressive try to block whatever it is you want. You feel their unspoken anger. Learn the signs and what you can do.

Breakthrough or Breakup

A breakdown is a usually unexpected interruption in a relationship that leaves one or both people feeling, upset, angry, disappointed, hurt, or in some way incomplete.

The Vitamin Cocktail of Courage

Choosing to take even tiny courageous actions can be a powerful antidote to toxic shame and a vitamin cocktail for our Zesty Selves. Drink up.

Being Controlled Provokes Anger—so Does Feeling Controlled

Can you distinguish feeling controlled from being controlled? Making this distinction can reduce your vulnverability to anger.

Sexual Harassment

It's 2017, so why are we still talking about sexual harassment? Here's how to talk to the person who needs it the most.

Wonder Woman in the Ring: MMA Fighter Sarah Kaufman

By E. Paul Zehr Ph.D. on May 31, 2017 in Black Belt Brain
Mixed martial arts fighter Sarah Kaufman shares thoughts on life in the ring and the importance of role models like Wonder Woman.

False Courage: Why We Pretend We’re Stronger Than We Are

How the art of bluffing helps us stand tall. When courage is called for, a good bluff can turn the tides of fortune and upend expected outcomes.

Are Illusory Agreements The New Trend?

Navigating the treacherous waters created by attorneys for whom the practice of law is nothing more than a game to be won is no easy feat.

Being Parents of a Perfectionist

Being parents of a perfectionist: For some parents it’s a dream, for others a nightmare. For the kids, it trends toward the latter.

10 Ways to Have an Easier Relationship With Your In-Laws

In-law relationships can be very complicated.

What You Need to Know About Relationships and Recovery

It is helpful to resist the urge to "fix" your relationships, and keep the focus on making progress in your recovery. As you do, over time, your relationships will likely improve.

Fathering Fosters Virtuous Aggression

David Hicks explores masculine aggression in a new novel, White Plains, that is engaging, insightful, and funny.
Carl Pickhardt Ph. D.

Adolescents, Parents, and the Power of Self-Esteem

Self-esteem not only defines a person, but that definition can influence perception and motivation to the good or not so good.
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The Pitfalls of Goal Setting

Goal-setting gone wrong can actually result in less happiness, which is the exact opposite of why we set them in the first place.