Assertiveness is quite a skill or ability and as such it takes quite some time before we develop it. In fact, we could safely assume that we can develop it only to some extent, which would mean it is more determined by other factors relating to our temperament and personality. How does assertiveness work?
When we are under pressure, being able to hold our emotions in check seems quite a challenge, as we all may have at least one example when we went overboard with unrelented criticism and incessant nagging that brought about no effects. This is the opposite of assertiveness which allows us not only to put ourselves in good light but also the other people we are dealing with here. The inability to rein in your impulses to snap at people who snap back at you is a path towards social exclusion and a label of a misfit. On the other hand, when you are labeled a doormat that only means you are overly compliant and servile in your attitude which can prompt some people to treat you in a condescending manner, your wishes to get some room or a breather ridiculed or dismissed with a shrug.
Difficult to Master
This is true that assertiveness is a hard skill to master especially for those who have an inkling that their years of training received early on when they were still young contributes in a significant manner to their success with people. Also impulsivity which is difficult to keep in check means our temperament will decide about our success of getting along with other people. Should we take it that no training is able to show us a different path to follow? Actually it could mean years and not months of non stop training and honing to the maximum effect, but it doesn’t exclude the possibility that sooner or later we would achieve the level that would allow us more freedom of expression within the limits that we and others find acceptable. It does not mean that we are going to be easy at first with the new approach, as it requires quite a lot of flexibility on our part to judge the social context properly. Without the background, no amount of training is going to help us with the complexity of human interactions.
Are You There Yet?
We might sound assertive enough to our own ears, but what we project, our image and requirements, is yet another question. If we face something bigger than ourselves we could see to our surprise that no techniques can help us master the worlds that others occupy, whether it is at work or elsewhere. What is more, we may not even be able to meet them halfway through.