Photo credit: flickr.com/photos/53314395@N00/4811704322
We had the second Girls Club event at Trunk on Sunday 7 April, and again, it was a warm and enjoyable gathering with such lovely people.
The Theme: Assertiveness
First up, we’d like to say that one of the attendees, Tessa, posted a great summary of the event on her blog, Silence Without. But we’ll also do a quick summary here!
To begin with, we talked about the definition of assertiveness:
Assertiveness is a particular mode of communication. Dorland’s Medical Dictionary defines assertiveness as:
a form of behavior characterized by a confident declaration or affirmation of a statement without need of proof; this affirms the person’s rights or point of view without either aggressively threatening the rights of another (assuming a position of dominance) or submissively permitting another to ignore or deny one’s rights or point of view.
Next, we went through the sample scenarios from the Small Planner, and then asked everyone to write about one professional situation and one personal situation where they were either successfully or unsuccessfully assertive.
It was incredibly interesting listening to the examples that people shared. Many of them were quite confidential, so we can’t give details, but we found a few common themes / conclusions:
- Assertiveness is a positive behaviour.
- It shows that you value and respect yourself, and your needs and wants. (Respect yourself and express yourself.)
- It also shows that you value and respect the other person, and your relationship with them, because you’re not avoiding communication or being passive-aggressive or being aggressive.
- It shows that want to improve things – but you can’t always put someone else’s wants and needs first.
- It’s often easier to be assertive with strangers than close friends.
- If something is bothering you, it’s very difficult to know when to be easygoing and when to be assertive and say something; you don’t want to wait too long, then say something, and the other person says, “Whoa! Where did this come from? It’s never bothered you before!”
- Everyone expressed difficulty being assertive sometimes, depending on the situation.
We would like to encourage anyone from Girls Club to join the private discussion group if you would like to discuss this further, or to use the group for advice and support.
Thank you to everyone who joined us. We felt like we gained a lot from sharing our experiences and being able to hear how people approach situations differently (and why). It was fascinating.
We’re working on the next theme at the moment, and will post more info soon.