Friday, January 11, 2019

Is Assertiveness Overrated?

Not so long ago, the ideal deportment was seen as restrained, modest, not pushy. But recent decades have seen increased lauding of, indeed training of, assertiveness. We’re even seeing encouragement of rude aggressiveness, exemplified by such slogans as “I’m loud and I’m proud!”

From where I sit, neither of the extremes: “the meek shall inherit the earth” nor “I’m loud and I’m proud” are defensible. The question is, “Where in that broad middle should you aim for?” It probably depends in part on your predisposition: Some people seem hard-wired for assertiveness, others for compliance, eagerness to please. But some of our level of assertiveness would seem under our control.

Most people exhibit their level of assertiveness unconsciously. Per some of my previous articles, for example,Work More? and Give More to The Neediest or to The Higher Potential?, I believe it wise that we make such decisions consciously, after due deliberation. 

To that end, my article today offers a debate between an advocate for moderate assertiveness and an advocate for moderate restraint. Perhaps it will help you get clearer on where you'd like to aim for on that continuum.

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