Many people have difficulty speaking up in conflict situations. Others may feel intimidated by pushy people, or have low self-esteem and regularly put aside their own desires in favor of what others want. This can
result in a variety of psychological problems, especially depression, with feelings of low self-esteem and helplessness. Lack of assertiveness makes you feel powerless.
Psychologists use assertiveness training, which is a behavioral technique, combined with traditional psychotherapy, to help you develop the necessary social skills to manage interpersonal situations more
effectively, and to feel better about yourself in those interpersonal situations. In particular, assertiveness training teaches you how to refuse unreasonable requests from others, how to assert your rights in a
non-aggressive manner, and how to negotiate to get what you want in your relationships with others.
Traditional psychotherapy can help you identify and change the psychological factors that inhibit self-esteem and assertive communication. The assertiveness training uses behavioral techniques to teach you how to
manage interpersonal situations better. Assertiveness requires a change in attitude as well as a change in behavior. We interact with others based on a set of beliefs about status (who is better or more important),
about how we should behave in social situations, and about what consequences we expect from our behavior. Non-assertive people worry about making a bad impression on everyone (including those who treat them badly).
They also worry about looking foolish in front of others, and are fearful of negative consequences all of the time.
Making a good impression, avoiding public embarassment, and protecting yourself are all important traits, but non-assertive people take them too far. They always give in to others. Assertiveness training helps you
learn how to judge when it is reasonable and appropriate to stand your ground, rather than giving in to others. It is not about being pushy or aggressive.