How we relate to others says a lot about the love we feel for ourselves. In this article we explain how these two aspects are connected.
Last update: 24 March, 2022
Assertiveness and self-esteem are two concepts we hear about often, both of which are essential for enjoying good emotional health and satisfying relationships.
Have you ever wondered what they have in common? Which one should we start working on to change our life? Today we talk about the interesting relationship between assertiveness and self-esteem.
When we decide to work on ourselves, we can feel overwhelmed by the amount of information available. There seems to be so much to do that choosing where to start becomes impossible.
Many of these variables are actually related and the improvement of one triggers changes on a global level. The same goes for assertiveness and autonomy.
Definition of assertiveness and self-esteem?
Let's start by defining these two terms which, although known to all, are not always fully understood. Self-esteem is based on the perception we have of ourselves, on the evaluation we make of our physical and personal characteristics. In turn, it includes the behavioral trends derived from that assessment.
It is, therefore, the result of a process in which we analyze, judge ourselves positively or negatively and act accordingly. In other words, we will decide whether to take care of our body and mind, maintain a healthy inner dialogue and face mistakes and adversities as allies or as enemies of ourselves.
On the other hand, assertiveness is an interpersonal communication model that is based on respect for themselves and for others. Assertive interactions allow us to relate to others on the same level, without submitting to their will and without imposing ours.
We are therefore able to express opinions, wishes and personal requests taking into account those of our interlocutor.
What is the relationship between assertiveness and self-esteem?
The relationship between assertiveness and self-esteem is not easily perceptible immediately. The first seems to be linked more to social relationships, while the second to the relationship with oneself.
However, they are both fundamental pillars of interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence. On top of that, they feed each other constantly.
When a person starts working on their self-esteem, their self-image improves and they start to value themselves more positively. That is to say, he considers himself valid and worthy of love and respect, regardless of his flaws or mistakes he may make. Let's talk about self-love which is also reflected in relationships with others.
Those who accept, respect and consider themselves easily find the courage to express personal preferences and needs. He is not afraid of rejection or abandonment and this makes him free to communicate with others.
The person with solid self-esteem does not tolerate contempt or mistreatment nor does he impart them, since he does not need to place himself in a superior position to others.
Likewise, anyone who is able to communicate assertively undoubtedly enjoys a good relationship with themselves. It is his self-esteem that allows him to relate to others in a healthy way; moreover, the interactions are much more satisfying for both parties.
For the same reason, his self-assessment is increasingly positive. Whenever we express ourselves openly, calmly resolve a conflict, or engage in fulfilling social interactions, self-esteem increases.
Where to start?
Given the close relationship between assertiveness and self-esteem, deficiencies on one level will most likely be found on the other as well. If this is your case and you don't know which one to start with, the answer is: self-esteem.
It is true that both aspects enhance each other, but it is not possible to be assertive if you do not have self-confidence. Insecurity and fears would lead to relapse into complacent or aggressive behaviors with others.
We need to start building a solid relationship with yourself, love, respect and treat each other with love and compassion. On this basis it will be natural and inevitable to reserve the same appreciation and respect for one's interpersonal relationships. Change always comes from within.