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  • Ray St-Amour

How Would You React?

There are many ways to react to events. Some are better than others. Take for example this scenario: You are in line at the store, the line is slow and you have been waiting for already longer than you wished. Someone comes and cuts in front of you. How do you react?

Do you remain silent, fuming, thinking of all the things you could tell this person? Do you start yelling at them, calling them names, swearing at them to get back to the “f’ing end of the line?” or do you take a deep breath, and speak assertively to this person and tell them in a non judgemental voice “are you aware that you have just cut in front of me? That there is a line?” The way you react, whether it is passive, aggressive or assertive will affect the response that you get from this person . For every action there is a reaction.

This person might say sorry, that they had not noticed the line and move back, they might tell you that they are with their spouse who was in line directly in front of you; that they just went to get an item they forgot, they might yell at you. In any case, if you remain calm and non judgemental yet assertive you will come out the winner.

Think of the passive example, the person who keeps the anger in; think of their blood pressure, their mood by the time they exit the store, the risk of them exploding on some poor other person. Think of the aggressive person, the person who lets it all out, yelling and swearing; their blood pressure is probably pretty high too and what do they accomplish? They get the other person upset or angry too. The assertive stance is the best one; you keep your cool, you use your brain. You keep calm and think about what you are saying before saying it.

For most of us, being assertive isn’t something we are born with; it is something we have to work on. The good news is that the more you practice being assertive, the better you will be at it. And wouldn’t it be a better world if we were all assertive instead of passive or aggressive?

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