Boss Lady

Assertiveness: The ultimate confidence boost


Looking back on the past eighteen years of my life, I discovered that I had been very passive. This was mostly due to several hellish years in a ‘Mean Girls’-style high school where I was the focus of many ill-hearted jokes and was mostly ignored whenever I drew a breath to speak. In University, I found the opportunities to flex my assertive muscles and I found endless benefits socially, personally and professionally that made me question how I had been so hesitant to stand up for myself sooner.

Why assertiveness is such a confidence boost

YOU TEACH PEOPLE HOW TO TREAT YOU and by being assertive, acting as if you deserve common respect and by proclaiming a strong, humble confidence, people will respond accordingly. How people interact with you creates the aesthetic of your environment, whether it be work, school or a social gathering. If you’re disrespected and looked down upon, your self-esteem will obviously take a beating. However, if you’re treated with respect and dignity, you’ll feel more secure in yourself.

Other benefits of assertiveness

Assertiveness also encourages effective communication in a professional or even social environment.  Being straightforward and saying exactly what you want or how you want to be treated can create a positive environment as everyone knows how to go by things. It also encourages other people to be straightforward and honest with you (hopefully in a good way, who knows with some people).

Be careful – there is a difference between being a leader and being a pain

Of course, there is still a difference between being Assertive and an ‘Ass’ertive. This is what my main concern was, that I’d be coming off as a bossy perfectionist. However, there is a difference between being a good leader/teammate and just being a jerk. It’s all about how you carry yourself. This graph is a perfect example of the approach one should take, using encouragement and respect in any leadership or group environment.

Assertiveness: The ultimate confidence boost

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Still, don’t hesitate

However, it is still important that you stand up for yourself as some people are just ‘ass’ertive and prefer to be on top of everyone else and don’t like to be told what to do regardless of how politely and professionally it is served to them. Of course, there is also the stigma that women are just bossy when they try to be a leader and they’re ‘too emotional’ to lead. Feel free to prove them wrong.

Overall, there is no need to be afraid of being assertive and being heard. Whether it be expressing an idea at work or telling a friend that their joke went too far. There is nothing wrong with respectfully expressing yourself, boosting your self-esteem and contributing to a group.

About Claire L. Smith

Claire L. Smith is an Australian poet, creative writer and artist. Most of her essays have been featured in the alternative feminist bulletin, ( Twitter:

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