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Archive for July, 2011

Last time we talked about Assertiveness.

Based upon some who struggled with that definition, I thought our topic time would be its contrast – Aggression

The following was an interesting comparison of gender differences regarding aggression (from Men, Women, and Aggression,  by Anne Campbell):

If, in men’s accounts of aggression, we are told what it is like to take control, in women’s accounts we hear about what is means to lose control.  For women, the threat comes from within; for men, it comes from others.  For women, the aim is a cataclysmic release of accumulated tension; for men, the reward is power over another person, a power that can be used to boost self-esteem or to gain social of material benefits.  For women, the interpersonal message is a cry for help born out of desperation; for men, it is an announcement of superiority stemming from a challenge to that position.  For women, the fear of aggression is a fear of breaking relationships; for men, it is the fear of failure, of fighting and losing, or of not being man enough to fight at all.

  • Do we agree with Ms. Campbell’s statements above?
  • Is this true for you personally?
  • What does aggressive behavior represent for you?
  • What is your personal experience with aggression?
  • Do you have a challenge in being aggressive (when necessary) or one in being aggressive at inopportune times?
  • How was aggression modeled to you as a child?
  • What role, if any, does it play in your life as an adult?
  • How does your relationship with aggression affect your sense of manhood?

As always, looking forward to meeting.

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Because other business came up during our last meeting, we did not get a chance to discuss this topic.  The group agreed to make Assertiveness the topic of this, the next meeting.

Our topic will be Assertiveness

Definition of assertiveness: “An honest, direct, and appropriate expression of one’s feelings, thoughts, and beliefs”

Assertiveness and self-confidence is often seen as standard equipment for men, which is perhaps why it is especially hard for a man when he feels these qualities lacking.  Often we are assertive in one aspect of our lives and not in another.  Based upon the large number of resources available which address the problem of being unassertive, it would seem that this is not at all uncommon for either sex.  Here is a sampling of those resources:

Assertiveness, Non-Assertiveness, and Assertive Techniques [pdf; School of Social Work, U of Buffalo]
Improving Assertive Behavior [livestrong.com]
The complete idiot’s guide to assertiveness [book], by Jeffrey P. Davidson

Do you think:

  • Other people’s feelings and rights are more important than yours.
  • You will offend other people by being assertive.
  • You are not important enough to express your feelings and rights.

What’s behind these feelings?  Each person will no doubt have their own contributing issues – speech problems since childhood, an overbearing or overly needy parent, being forced to adopt an unfamiliar language or culture, some sort of traumatic experience.  If/when you find yourself lacking in the assertiveness you want/need, what do you think is behind the feeling?  Is the solution mechanical or emotional?  What do you need to put this solution into effect?  How can our group help/support you in that goal?

As always, looking forward to meeting.

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PLEASE NOTE THAT WE ARE MEETING ON TUESDAY due to the 4th of July holiday.

Our topic will be Assertiveness

Definition of assertiveness: “An honest, direct, and appropriate expression of one’s feelings, thoughts, and beliefs”

Assertiveness and self-confidence is often seen as standard equipment for men, wich is perhaps why it is especially hard for a man when he feels these qualities lacking.  Often we are assertive in one aspect of our lives and not in another.  Based upon the large numebr of resources available which address the problem of being unassertive, it would seem that this is not at all uncommon for either sex.  Here is a sampling of those resources:

Assertiveness, Non-Assertiveness, and Assertive Techniques [pdf; School of Social Work, U of Buffalo]
Improving Assertive Behavior [livestrong.com]
The complete idiot’s guide to assertiveness [book], by Jeffrey P. Davidson

Do you think:

  • Other people’s feelings and rights are more important than yours.
  • You will offend other people by being assertive.
  • You are not important enough to express your feelings and rights.

What’s behind these feelings?  Each person will no doubt have their own contributing issues – speech problems since childhood, an overbearing or overly needy parent, being forced to adopt an unfamiliar language or culture, some sort of traumatic experience.  If/when you find yourself lacking in the assertiveness you want/need, what do you think is behind the feeling?  Is the solution mechanical or emotional?  What do you need to put this solution into effect?  How can our group help/support you in that goal?

As always, looking forward to meeting.

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