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The Assertive Myth

Most tendencies and personality traits are measured on a spectrum. You’re probably not 100% introverted nor extroverted, except in a small number of cases.

You’re not purely “left-brained” or “right-brained.”

You’re not purely creative or rule-driven.

You live somewhere on a spectrum between two traits.

I recently heard someone say “I’m not assertive.” Surely there are some instances when he has been assertive. Certainly there have been times when he asserted himself to influence, or achieve something important.

We behave differently in different roles. One role where many of us find it difficult to be assertive is in sales and negotiations. But the likelihood that we’re flatly “not assertive” in any circumstance is nearly nil.

So I ask you: in what circumstances have you been assertive? In your mind, what’s different about those circumstances than others where you don’t assert yourself?