Blocks to healthy self-assertion

Being assertive can come very easily to many of us whilst some of us might have an extreme difficulty in this area, due to many of the following blocks as stated by Hauck (1981b):

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1.Fear of injury -Physical violence may be threatened or unleashed in order to keep you in line. This might be the case in an abusive relationship.

2. Fear of failure

3. Fear of hurting other people’s feelings-For example, if I tell him that ‘his gift wrapping is not very good, I might hurt his feelings’

4. Fear of rejection– For example: I couldn’t cope if they criticised me or abandoned me

5.Fear of financial insecurity- For example, you stay in a job you hate because you are worried about financial instability if you leave.

According to Trower et al (2011)there are these 2 blocks:

1.GuiltYou believe it is wrong to assert your own wishes because you believe this is selfish behaviour or you don’t feel worthy enough.

2.Damning anger– You end up blaming others for frustrating you by insulting or hurting them. For example, you might say ‘You are such a lazy and slow worker’ rather than saying ‘I would like to talk about how we could equally distribute the work load between yourself and Adam’

According to Gilbert (2000) there are these blocks to being assertive:

1.Loss of control– Assertion can involve high psychological arousal which might lead to shouting at your partner.

2.Fear of counter attack– After you have asserted your complaints, you fear being overwhelmed by the other person’s response. You fear blushing, you mind going blank or maybe even getting tongue tied. You fear looking worse off after asserting your wishes.

3.Self-blame– You might blame yourself for causing tension or conflict by asserting your needs.

4.Positive self– You view lack of assertiveness as having positive qualities of being kind and caring.

Assertiveness in general will help you get more of what you want and less of what you don’t want but there is the possiblity that it might not always work out in the way that you hope. If you have been someone who isn’t assertive and suddenly start asserting yourself with familiar people in your life, things may become increasingly uncomfortable with those people, as they aren’t used to you being assertive. People don’t like change!

Which of these blocks do you struggle with? If not, feel free to share your experience of being self-assertive.

Thanks for reading

Much love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

Author: Courage Coaching

I provide empowerment, empathy & support. I specialise in dealing with dysfunctional relationships, particularly narcissistic abuse & encouraging self-compassion.

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