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

Will the Arguing Ever End?

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on June 29, 2015 in The Dolphin Divide
Why things get worse before getting better. We all argue now and then. Chronic arguing, however, requires thoughtful and ongoing work. Happy endings are possible—but there may be a storm or two before the calm.

Talking With Mom or Dad About Driving

Most of us will have to talk with our parents about their driving at some point. Let's discuss how not to fall into some common traps.

7 Tips for Talking About Anything With Anyone

By Marcia Reynolds Psy.D. on June 05, 2015 in Wander Woman
Giving feedback can hurt instead of help a relationship. If you need something to treat you in a different way, follow these 7 steps to help you agree on a way forward that is more respectful and rewarding for you both.

Empowerment and Better Health Through Assertive Behavior

By Clifford N Lazarus Ph.D. on June 05, 2015 in Think Well
Are you passive or aggressive when being assertive is usually the best choice? Here's why assertiveness is an essential life skill that empowers people, boosts their self-confidence, enhances relationships, and might even reduce certain health risks.

Do People Think You're Pushy, or a Pushover?

Research shows we're really bad at identifying how other people perceive us.

Marshmallows. One or Two?

By Vance Z. Johnson M.D. on May 18, 2015 in What Hurts?
"What hurts?" and "What does it mean?" We all want to escape pain. Some of us make that our only goal while others have goals that are past the pain. Life is a few short years and a veil of tears. You can take the pain. Do you want to know if you can take the suffering? Joy can be predicted.

The Definitive Way To Respond to Others' Mistakes

By Emma M. Seppälä Ph.D. on May 13, 2015 in Feeling It
Mistakes happen. The question is: How should we respond? Research shows that compassion will help us come out ahead.

Should You Confront Your Family?

A child’s desperate need for nurture can drive them to repeat any behavior that appears to get it. Whatever relieved pain in your youth built neural pathways that tell you how to feel good today. You can end up with a self-destructive pattern that’s hard to make sense of. Talking about it breaks the spell, and builds a healthy skill to replace it.

10 Ways Mother's Day Provides Life Lessons to Children

By Kate Roberts Ph.D. on May 09, 2015 in Savvy Parenting
Mother's Day is much more than what advertisers make it. It's a chance to celebrate mom, while teaching children some very valuable skills and life lessons.

You May Be Playing the Victim, and Not Even Know It?

When you do everything your partner asks, you likely expect gratitude in return, but what it actually creates in them is a reservoir of guilt and anger.

Will You Be Openly Secular?

By David Niose on April 19, 2015 in Our Humanity, Naturally
Openly Secular Day aims to encourage nonbelievers to be open about their personal secularity.

The Best Diet Is the One You'll Stick With

This bottom line seems to emerge whenever diets are compared over longer periods: there are no magic bullets, and the best diet is the one you’ll stick with. What will you stick with, though? That question itself can be hard to answer.

When You Can't Tell If They're Serious

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on April 05, 2015 in Ambigamy
It's fun to just browse the options, but sooner or later you have to prioritize.

What Kind of Angry Are You? (Part 2)

In order to get the important message that anger is trying to deliver, you need to steer clear of your old, unhealthy avoidance habits and let your inner communication come through.

10 Things You Can Do as a Bystander

Many schools, corporations and organizations offer ‘leadership training’ courses and seminars, yet they fail to teach the skills and strategies required for ‘bystander intervention.’ Here are a few concrete things that bystanders can do:

Surprise

By The Book Brigade on March 26, 2015 in The Author Speaks
Surprise is good for the brain, great for relationships, and adds a certain frisson all around. Without it, life is lackluster. So why don't more people embrace the unexpected? They run from it or try to subdue it when they should instead roll with it.

Emotional Intelligence: Do Women Have an Edge?

Remember emotional intelligence can be learned; while it may be a part of women's "conditioning," many men have or can learn these behaviors.

Do As I Say: Be Oppositional!

Oppositional behavior by children would seem to run counter to arguments in my previous posts that family members often do what they think their families want them to, even at great personal sacrifice. But oppositionality can be more apparent than real. People often act that way to accomodate what they perceive their parents to want and need from them.

“I Need a Do-over!” 5 Ways to Fix Relationship Missteps

By Meg Selig on March 19, 2015 in Changepower
So you were a doormat or a bully and you regret it. There's a do-over for that! Try these 5 assertive scripts that will mend your relationship and restore your confidence.

Are There Downsides to Having a Woman President?

With Hillary Clinton's all-but-certain to run for president, one of the world's leading experts on gender and leadership examines whether her gender will make a difference.

Do Dog People and Cat People Differ in Terms of Dominance?

New data suggest that dog people and cat people are selecting their preferred pet because it complements their own personality.

2 Dating Mistakes You Don't Want to Make

By Robert Taibbi L.C.S.W. on March 11, 2015 in Fixing Families
It's natural to try and present your best self when dating and avoid confrontations. Makes sense but not a good idea. Here are some tips on making dating do what its supposed to do.

What Does it Mean to Think in a Second Language?

Does learning a second language make you think differently? Or do you have to think differently in order to speak a second language?

What Girls Can Say and Do to Stand Up to Bullying

When the simplicity of forming a friendship just by climbing the same jungle gym is replaced by the intricacy of scaling middle-school social ladders, how can you teach your daughter the skills she needs to stay strong in the face of friendship drama and bullying?

Do You Want People to Understand You? Stop Doing This.

Saying what you mean is more than a matter of finding the right words. It’s the intonation, or tone of voice, that adds punch to our language. If you’re a victim of “uptalk,” without knowing it, you may be leaving people with a wrong, and confusing, impression.

The Sexual Boundary Issue That's Seldom Discussed

By Michael Castleman M.A. on March 02, 2015 in All About Sex
Many couples struggle over men's wish to ejaculate into women's mouths and have them swallow.

Empathy for a Child Abuser?

Empathy for a child abuser? For a child molester? How can anyone be empathic with someone who has done something so terrible? Why would they want to? Do the perpetrators possibly deserve such a thing? For a judge or prosecutor, of course not. For stopping repetitive dysfunctional family interactions that trigger someone's self-destructive behavior? Necessary.

Is Good Psychotherapy Worth the Investment?

By Judith Coche Ph.D., ABPP on February 26, 2015 in No Ordinary Life
Nick, age 55, gets unstuck when he and wife Barbara join together to invest in their own depth therapy to deal with how to feel passion, be more cognitively flexible, and create a happier marriage. They are glad they did.

How to Survive a Slasher Film

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on February 23, 2015 in Media Spotlight
Do you think you're trapped in a slasher film? A new research study published in the journal Psychology of Popular Media Culture provides an in-depth look at Final Girls over three decades of slasher films and what it was that enabled them to survive to the end of the movie. The study results may surprise you.