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Reflective Writing Assignment # One

a) Describe one recent example where you attempted to be assertive and were successful in expressing yourself in an assertive manner.

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Being assertive is not an easy task if a person has problems with self-esteem. I am sure that the ability to express oneself in an assertive manner starts from high self-esteem as well as the majority of problems connected with the lack of assertiveness depend on the low self-esteem. My self-esteem is on the intermediate level. It means that I can be assertive if I aspire to be. One day, I had a discussion with my classmate. We were going to prepare a project and needed few books to read. The day before I have already checked if they are in the Internet, and the result of my search was negative. Thus, I told my friend that we should better go the library. However, he said that he knew an excellent online-library where we could find any book. I thought that it was time to be assertive and persuaded him that we should not lose time. I was confident in my own knowledge and told him that he should trust me because I have checked all sources we both know, and there were no suitable books in the internet. Besides, I called the library, and the librarian told that they had what we needed. Having all the facts, I persuaded my friend, and he agreed that the library visit was the best decision.

b) Describe one recent example where you attempted but failed to be assertive in expressing yourself.

Two weeks ago, I wanted to buy a new T-shirt for myself. Of course, I needed money and asked my mother to give me some. I guess she was not in her best mood because her face became surprised and a bit angry. She asked how many T-shirts I had and how many T-shirts I needed. I tried to explain that that was a T-shirt with the picture of my favourite group, and I have not bought anything like that before. Moreover, I have saved some money. That is why I asked only for a few dollars. The sum I needed was small, and I was sure that my parents would give it to me. Nevertheless, my mother started to say that I spent enormous sums of money on buying unnecessary clothes, and she would not let me buy anything new until I decided what I would do with clothes I already had. This dialogue was just useless, and I could not express myself assertively because my mother did not even want to listen what I say. That is why I failed.

c) Describe one recent example where you at first acted non-assertively, recognized this, intervened and acted assertively.

Such situations took place many times in my life. Mostly, it happens during conversations with my friends because I suppose that they should understand me without words. However, sometimes it does not work. For example, my friend asked me to help her choose a dress for an official meeting. When we were in the shop, she asked my opinion of the dress she put on. I said that I did not like it, and she should rather try on something else. Then she became sad telling me that my advices are not right and I do not understand anything in style. I thought that she needed a precise explanation why I did not like the dress, and I said that it was too short for an official meeting, and its style was absolutely different from the required dress code for the place she was going to visit. She agreed, and I thought that logical explanation was the ideal decision for every situation.

d) Describe one recent example where you acted aggressively.

Mostly, aggressive actions are not for me, because I am a calm person who prefers to discuss questions in a placid atmosphere. However, I can be aggressive when I am in a hurry or worry about something because these feelings prevail over the rational thinking. A month ago I received some bad news about health of my grandfather, and my mind was quite disturbed about the person whom I love a lot. I thought that I should have gone and visited him right after my lessons come to the end. I was going to leave the classroom, when my best friend came and asked if I remember that we were going to study together. I was too nervous, consequently, I was rude to him. I did not explain anything and did not even say bye to him. I just left without any explanations. Now I understand that I acted aggressively. I should have explained that I had family problems, but I could not because of my emotions.

e) Describe one recent example where you began acting aggressively, recognized this, intervened and acted assertively.

When I act aggressively, it is quite hard to realize that I do something wrong, or I can offend somebody who loves and cares about me and my life. Last month, my aunt proposed me to take some dance classes because her good friend is a dancing teacher in some center, and she can take me as a pupil without any payment. Acting aggressively, I asked why she was going to meddle in my life. I also wanted to say that I can find any classes or courses without any help, and I do not need to ask her advice. However, I realized that she cared about me and just wanted me to get involved into some interesting activity. I recognized my aggression and explained that I did not have time for such classes because of studying.

f) Discuss what you learned about yourself having addressed this exercise.

This exercise is truly useful because it gives a possibility to examine my own deeds and attitude towards people who surround me. It is like a psychological session without doctor. I tell a story, analyze it and learn how the conclusions can help me and my assertiveness in future. Being assertive is essential because this ability demonstrates how we can verbalize our own thoughts, take a position and explain it. It widens and improves communication and persuasion skills; therefore, assertiveness is significant not only for personal relations but also for career.

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