Assertiveness and Competitiveness CAN be the Perfect Blend!

By: Rachel Carpenter

Assertiveness & Competitiveness. Our final stop in the month of March and the first in April. We’ve learned so much about assertiveness over the past month: we’ve learned how to be assertive, when to be assertive, how to be professional while being assertive, and so much more. But have we really spent time learning what’s behind it? That’s what I want to talk about today- assertiveness through competitiveness. 

To be competitive, we should be assertive in pursuit of our success. This means that we are being assertive when it’s necessary, as well as for the right reasons. It means that we are using this skill to pursue our dreams and happiness, rather than for other reasons. I want to look today at a few times when it’s not good to be assertive and the negative ways of thinking that mishandling those situations may lead us in. 


 We should not be assertive with the intent of silencing others.

  • Just like you are entitled to your opinion and you have the ability to assert your opinion, everyone else does too. Just because you may disagree with them doesn’t mean that they don’t get to share. 
  • We want all people to pursue their own success and happiness and by using a skill that you’ve developed to take away someone else’s voice, you have missed what being assertive is completely. 


 We should not be assertive to be oppressive.

  • Using assertiveness to be oppressive is asserting things that are not meant to make you competitive, but rather to make others feel small. 
  • Opressiveness in being competitive and assertive often inflicts pain on those who already are victimized in society, such as minority groups. 
  • Always remember to keep diversity and inclusion in mind, as well as to view assertiveness and competitiveness in a positive context. 


 We should not be assertive to be manipulative. 

  • Being assertive to be competitive should not mean using your words to scare others into giving you everything you want. Yes, getting everything you want may feel like a success, but not when it’s at the expense of others, as well as your reputation. 
  • Others in your work environment may grow to dislike you, which is definitely not a win. How can you be using assertiveness in pursuit of success if you are compromising a whole different type of success? 



To end, I want all of you to view assertive competitiveness as a power to be used in moderation. A skill that you can develop and hone, but only for the greater good of yourself and others. Assertiveness should never be negatively imposed on others- this isn’t real assertiveness. Any power can be used in excess- but at the expense of someone else. I want to challenge you to keep assertiveness and competitiveness in perspective, as well as to keep this trait positive.


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