The benefits of learning assertiveness for children

Assertiveness has been defined by experts as "the ability to assert ones own rights, without being manipulated and without manipulating others." The assertive person knows his own rights, defends them, respects others, and does not only think about winning in a dispute or conflict, but to achieve agreements beneficial to both parties.

In today's society, adults are often immersed in situations of competitiveness, rivalries and interpersonal tensions that force us to put into play, increasingly, the techniques of conflict resolution and positive communication that we know through experience. our readings or courses that we have been able to do.


We also have a baggage of personal and social skills that are the result of the experiences and messages that were transmitted to us by the elderly around us. Now we are the ones who have the responsibility of guiding the youngest in their social development, and educating them according to the most appropriate patterns of interpersonal behavior. Among them is to be assertive.

Characteristics of an assertive person

Assertiveness is linked to a healthy self-esteem and is learned through practice, it is not innate. To develop it we must recognize the characteristics of an assertive person:

1. The assertive person knows how to say "NO" or show his position towards something:
- Manifesting, without feeling bad about it, his own position on a subject, request, demand.
- Expressing a reasoning to explain and / or justify their position, feelings, request.
- Expressing understanding towards the postures, feelings and demands of the other.


2. Can react to an attack:
- Expressing their opinions with serenity and firmness.
- Asking for clarification if there is something that is not clear.

3. Know how to ask favors when necessary and express feelings:
- Express gratitude, affection, admiration ...
- Express dissatisfaction, pain, bewilderment ...

Benefits of being an assertive person

1. A person has an assertive behavior when defending his own interests, He expresses his opinions freely and does not allow others to manipulate him. On the other hand, it is considered with the way of thinking and feeling of others.

2. The advantage of being assertive is that you can get what you want without causing disruption to others. Being assertive you can act in favor of your own interests without feeling guilty or wrong about it; the extreme docility, the verbal attack or the reproach are no longer necessary, inadequate forms of action that create pain and stress.


On the contrary, the interpersonal behaviors opposed to assertiveness are:

1. Aggressive behavior: This type of behavior encourages the fight, the accusation and the threat, attacking others regardless of their feelings. The advantage of this kind of behavior is that people do not dare to confront the aggressive person, the disadvantage is that they do not want to have it close.

2. Passive behavior: A person displays passive behavior when he allows others to take advantage of it, when he does not defend his interests and when he does everything he is told no matter what he thinks or feels about it. The advantage of behaving like a passive person is that you rarely get a direct rejection from others; The disadvantage is that the person feels manipulated and ends up accumulating a heavy burden of resentment and irritation.

You have to be clear and convey the fact that both the style of aggressive behavior and the passive, usually do not serve to achieve what you want.

Ana Barrantes. Author of the blog Neuropsychology and Learning

To know more:
Neuropsychology and Learning Blog: I do not understand, you do not understand me

You may also like:

- Ideas to teach assertiveness to children

- The influence of emotions on the behavior of children

- Assertiveness: how to say no

- How to boost children's self-esteem

Video: Let Your Kids Say No! Teaching Assertive Language Skills


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