Being Assertive: Yay or Nay?

Building communication is not an easy thing. Have you ever said something that turned out to be misunderstood by others? Or, did someone feel offended by your words when you do not mean it? That’s because communication itself cannot satisfy all parties.

Also, not everyone can communicate openly and decisively without having to hurt the feelings of others. Therefore, assertive communication is needed to solve this problem. To find out more about this communication skill, and how to use it for your own good, get the answers below.

What Is Assertive Communication?

Assertive communication is the ability to express opinions effectively without having to look aggressive. In general, assertive people can communicate their opinions and feelings honestly, but their words do not make others feel patronized or demeaned.

Sure, applying this type of communication would make you an authentic person because “Yes” will always mean “Yes”, and so does for “No”. Even so, other people may not always agree or follow you, but at least they will trust you.

Characteristics of Assertive Communication Style

Specifically, the communication style refers to how you express feelings and thoughts through indirect messages and behavior. And in assertive communication, they usually show these following behaviors:

  1. Assertive personality can explain feelings and opinion clearly. And usually, their opinions are always accepted by related parties.
  2. Assertive people can express their opinions or feelings patiently, without intending to attack others.
  3. The firm is one of the communication styles occupied by an assertive character. But still, they also do not like to impose their will on others.
  4. When building good communication, assertive people only want to hold in clear and rational conditions.
  5. Assertive people always try to maintain the truth in their words. Although in the end, it may trigger conflict, they may still try to maintain the feelings of others.
  6. A positive approach is also another advantage of an assertive communicator. When faced with problems, they always put aside negative emotions that can complicate the problem.
  7. Confidence and open-minded are other good points of assertive people, which make them quite respected in their social network.
  8. Assertive personality is always open to receive feedback from others, both positive and negative.
  9. A positive and optimistic vision is always put forward by an assertive communicator.
  10. Known to be good at negotiating, assertive people always adhered to the concept of a win-win solution.

Assertive Communication Techniques

Having assertive communication to work effectively, you can apply the following techniques.

  • Learn to use proper body language. First, maintain your eye contact and then keep your posture relaxed. Also, be sure that your facial expressions are in line with the message delivered.
  • Always focus on the topic being discussed. Don’t focus on trying to blame or corner the other person.
  • When expressing some opinions, better use facts and not just assumptions.
  • If the topic is out of line, do a repetition of what you are discussing at that time. You have to do it to return the focus on the right dialogue.
  • Perform a fogging technique. Fogging is the ability of an assertive speaker to respond defensively, without making others feels rejected.
  • Before opening further discussion, give others time to calm down, especially if the discussion was tinged with heated debate.
  • Always maintain your intonation while conveying firmness. Thus, conflict can be avoided.

Why Being Assertive Important?

Being assertive may certainly give you many benefits. If you succeed in using it for your own good, that skill may help you in building a large social network. So, here are the reasons why this communication skill is very important to develop:

  • Assertiveness makes you not hesitate to ask for what you want. Most people don’t succeed in getting what they want just because they don’t dare to express it directly. Therefore, you need assertive communication skill.
  • Assertiveness also makes it easier for you to build a broad social network. By mastering an assertive communication style, you may easily build better relationships, whether with colleagues or in personal life.
  • Being assertive would also make you more confident and authentic. Sure, this skill will make you a true version of yourself.

Final Thoughts

If you do it properly, assertive communication can provide many benefits. For instance, with this communication style, you can build better relationships and be able to express opinions honestly.

However, the application of assertive communication can be conceptual. In certain situations, your assertive behavior may be considered as an act of aggressiveness by others. Even so, assertive communication is still a good choice for building a better personal or career life.

“To be passive is to let others decide for you. To be aggressive is to decide for others. To be assertive is to decide for yourself. And to trust that there is enough, that you are enough. “

—By Edith Eva Eger, in the book of The Choice: Embrace the Possible.

Wisdom vs Knowledge: Which One is Better?

Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.”

That quote is a great example to settle the debate about wisdom vs knowledge. There’s no denying that both wisdom and knowledge are closely correlated when they are used to enhance life awareness. However, each term comes in distinctive definitions and aspects. The comparison between them can give you the insight to decide which one is more important: being knowledgeable or being wise.

Wisdom vs Knowledge: Differences by Definition

Knowledge is defined as the collections of data, facts, ideas, and information you have got and will get throughout your life. You can acquire knowledge in many ways, including study, research, observation, and experience. Knowledge can also be gained when you read books, surf the internet, or watch the news.

When you have lots of knowledge, you will be knowledgeable. It means that you have enough information and understanding about certain subjects. As a result, you will be confident to use them for different purposes, whether to find the solution to a problem or handle your everyday activities.

Wisdom, on the other hand, is much deeper and greater than knowledge. Mostly gained through life experience, wisdom is the exceptional ability to correctly judge, decide, and discern any knowledge you have acquired. By being wise, you will be able to decide whether something is right or wrong. You can also explain the meaning and reasons behind your knowledge and its application in life.

To put those definitions into perspective, a knowledgeable person can answer the questions that begin with ‘what’. Meanwhile, a wise person can explain a certain subject more thorough when you ask ‘why’ or ‘how’.

Other Different Aspects of Wisdom and Knowledge

Besides the differences in meaning and definitions, you can compare the differences in knowledge and wisdom based on several aspects. These include time aspect, source, and the effects they produce on your life.

· Time

Knowledge and wisdom are affected by time. Both may increase from time to time, as you develop your cognitive, mental, and emotional state. Despite this, time has a more direct effect on knowledge rather than wisdom. It is commonly believed that the longer you learn, the more knowledgeable you are.

This rule, however, doesn’t apply to wisdom. The state of being wise cannot be measured by how long you live or learn. For instance, it is possible for someone who has lived for 50 years to make an unwise decision. In contrast, someone who learned a particular subject for 15 years can be proven to have more knowledge than those who only learned for 5 years.

· Source

Another aspect that can distinguish knowledge from wisdom is the sources you use to acquire them. Knowledge is gained through more definite sources. To be more knowledgeable, you can sharpen the logical thought by having proper education, taking classes, learning facts, or even conducting researches.

On the other hand, gaining wisdom is not that simple. It is mostly based on indefinite sources, such as self-intuition, personal experience, moral characters, and subjective perception. No formal or scheduled education can turn you into a wiser person. Instead, wisdom comes from within. Being wise is achieved when you let yourself think, judge, and consider different aspects of life to decide anything that matters.

· Effects

A knowledgeable person is usually more confident when interacting with others. By having a lot of knowledge, you will also be more interested and engaged in life. Also, knowledge can contribute to your personal success by providing more opportunities.

If you think knowledge bring lots of positive effects, wisdom can give you a lot more. By gaining wisdom, you will know how to have a meaningful life. Moreover, you can improve morality and practicality in your life as well as use your knowledge in better ways.

Some Examples Regarding Wisdom vs Knowledge

Despite all differences, wisdom and knowledge are linked and correlated. In addition to personal experience, wisdom is based on knowledge. Meanwhile, knowledge might be misguided or misdirected when you use it without wisdom.

One interesting example is when you read a book about starting up a business. At first glance, it is safe to assume that you gained knowledge about business from what you read. However, if you are wise, you can use that knowledge to set up a business that will benefit you in the future.

Another example is when watching a documentary about how to save the environment. Knowledgeable groups may master the theory of reducing and recycling, but wise people will start a good habit while applying that theory to their everyday life.

That concludes the comparison of wisdom vs knowledge. After identifying the essential differences about both, now you can understand what makes knowledge different from wisdom, and conversely, what makes wisdom greater than knowledge. In the end, whether you choose to be a knowledgeable person, a wise man, or try to be both, it all comes down to you—as well as the knowledge and wisdom inside you.