What is the secret to being more assertive? Having self respect

German researcher Daniela Renger identifies self respect as essential for assertiveness.

Getty images, not Dr. Renger's image

For her studies, Renger devised a new, four-item self-report measure of self-respect. Participants rated their strength of agreement with:

  • In everyday life I always see myself as a person with equal rights
  • I always see myself as a person of equal worth compared with other people in my life
  • I am always aware that I have the same dignity as all other human beings
  • If I look at myself, I see a person who is equally worthy compared with others

... Renger concluded that self-competence, self-confidence and self-respect are distinct aspects of the self-concept. Also, while all three factors correlated with assertiveness, only self-respect had a unique association with assertiveness when accounting for the other two factors.

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Replies to This Discussion

All four, and I can still feel insecure...

Ruth, I appreciate your integrity in attributing the image but am curious about how it affects responses.
Since no one can deceive me better than I, I am wary and want to reply with short essays. I may write them and form them into a talk for my Toastmasters club.

Because state inspectors have influence in my life, I keep a favored notice on my fridge: “No, you cannot have my rights. I’m still using them.” It puts them on notice and it reminds me.


Plinius, what accounts for that feeling?

I had a rather bad start in life, due to my family who wanted to subdue me or break me. They didn't succeed, but I would have done better with a little support.

On the lighter side, a classic cinematic take on self-respect--

Ruth, what you've listed above amounts to many if not all of the parameters of self-ownership. Without them, there is no self-ownership, there is no self-possession, and there is no ability to assert oneself effectively in the public milieu.

And, as with self-examination, nobody teaches this. Too many people, myself included, have to learn this on their own, or figure out the need for it. To me, this is criminal.

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