The foundations of assertiveness are consolidated in childhood

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Joe Dispenza
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The foundations of assertiveness are consolidated in childhood

Last update: April 22, 2017

The term assertiveness refers to the ability to enforce our rights appropriately and always respecting others. Knowing how to say "no", for example, is a clear example of healthy assertiveness. However, what prevents its proper consolidation? Where is the problem?

The answer lies in one of the most important phases of our life: childhood. If from an early age our parents carry out a poor emotional educational project, in the future we will have serious difficulties in being assertive, recognizing our rights and defending them with sufficient force so that no one violates them.



Emotional neglect in childhood

What do we mean by emotional neglect? Not providing for the emotional needs that any child has. For example, certainly on more than one occasion we have thought that if a child cries because he has lost his toy, it is nonsense and we laugh at him. This will lead him to hide his emotions for fear of looking ridiculous.

We tell children phrases such as "It's not that bad" or "You cry for nonsense" without thinking about the terrible foundation we are building in them. The little ones will understand that their reactions are not adequate and will learn to contain and repress them. However, that's not all. There are many other consequences that will take shape as children reach the adult stage.

One of these consequences is that when these little human beings are adults, they will not be able to recognize their emotions and feelings and, even worse, they will not be able to express them adequately. This will lead them to adopt very extreme postures towards others, or perhaps they will let other people trample them or they may show unusual aggression.



However, perhaps one of the worst results of parental emotional neglect is the formation of low self-esteem. These little ones, tomorrow adults, will believe they do not deserve love, therefore, they will live unsatisfactory relationships of which they will never feel deserving, thus being unhappy and suffering a lot because they will think they can be abandoned at any time.


Meeting the emotional needs of the little ones will help them find out what they feel and what they need. In addition to this, it will make them aware of the importance of their emotions and their needs, that no one should step on them and that they can freely express what they feel because they deserve others to respect it.

If they do not learn all this from an early age, starting from the education given by their parents, when they grow up they will have serious problems of safety and self-esteem. They will not believe that others should treat them well and love them and all this can lead them to adopt self-destructive behaviors and constantly self-sabotage.


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