William Fogle
Owen Elmore
American Literature
The Self-Assertion
Self-assertion is demonstrated as confidence that individuals possess, thus able to speak firmly of their own thoughts, and fighting/seeking the opportunities that they believe belong to them. The assertion can also be used on behalf of a team, or large multitude to resolve issues facing the team. Also it works to re-motivate individuals among other uses. However self-assertiveness is sometimes confused with aggressiveness. Aggressive behavior is when an individual expresses his/her opinions and feelings in a hostile, demanding, assaultive, threatening, punishing manner. He or she infringes or disregards the other person’s rights. But assertiveness involves direct communication of individual opinions or needs without threatening, punishing or putting others down. This paper critiques the assertion of self, by looking at both positive and negative sides, of self-assertion. It also uses four case studies, of four poets, who have employed self-assertion in their poetry.

Assertiveness majorly is a good thing. However one should be careful not to hurt yourself, as well as, your relationship with others. Straightforwardly make other people understand what you desire and need, and also about how you feel. This demonstrates personal respect, dignity, and self-confidence (Razmjouyi, Zhaleh and Nadereh 52). Furthermore it can make people feel sensitive, to the legitimacy or validity, of your point of view. On the other hand, individuals who lack self- assertiveness, that are overly differential, verbally withholding or passive, hardly get their primary relational needs met. As a result, they end up feeling unfulfilled, misunderstood and frustrated.
Various studies have explored the term assertiveness especially as a method of anxiety’s reciprocal inhibition. It has also been commonly applied as a remedy for behavior therapy. Assertive training’s major goals include; increased personal rights awareness, differentiation concerning assertiveness and non-assertiveness. Also for the purpose of learning, both non-verbal and verbal skills related to assertive, and variation between aggressiveness and passive-aggressiveness. As a communication strategy and style, assertiveness is hence distinguished from both passivity and aggression. An individual communicates assertiveness through fighting fear of expressing his or her mind or by attempting to influence other people in a manner that respects the boundaries of others.
Typically, there are different characteristics related to assertive people. The assertive individual possesses various features; they are aware of their rights, they do not hold back their opinions and needs, they have the potential to maintain and initiate comfortable associations with other people. They also get hold of their anger and express it in a reasonable way and are willing to come into concession with others (Park and Myungsun 734). They possess good self-esteem and they get into a friendship form an ‘I mind my needs, I mind your needs position’.

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Various techniques are associated with assertiveness. These techniques can differ widely in various behaviors. Broken record technique, which entails a repeat of one’s requests, or refusals each moment a person faces resistance. Fogging technique involves searching some rare truth with the aim of agreeing with words of an antagonist. Negative inquiry technique comprises of requesting further, additional particular criticism. Negative assertion technique includes concession criticism but not letting up demand. I-statement technique could be applied while communicating one’s wishes and feelings from an individual standpoint without blaming one’s opinions about others or venting a judgment concerning the others
From a critiquing and application perspective, assertiveness might be applied in an unbalanced manner. Particularly by those who are not very conversant with the assertiveness process. One issue with the assertiveness concept is that, it is both situation-specific and complex. Behaviors that are assertive in one situation may fail to be so in another. More specifically, while lack of assertiveness results to one set of issues, overly assertive people may create another problem also. Dissociated from respect for the rights of another person, assertiveness techniques can be psychological pathways, which may be easily abused. Some research studies have recognized assertiveness training to be a significant tool in the deterrent of disorders related to alcohol use. Psychological skills generally, entail assertiveness, as well as social skills; have been portrayed as remedies for numerous disorders with some experimental support (Kim, Park and Song 155).

Application of self-assertion can be noted in a number of major poems. From these poems, the poets reflect a sense of self-assertiveness. For instance, in Dickinson work, she asserts the value of the self, a refrain closely linked to Dickinson’s criticism of God. As Dickinson comprehended it, the act of just writing or speaking is an assertion of the will. The poet calls, in precise, is the call to examine and assert the self to others. As for Dickinson, the “self” involves the knowledge of identity in line with the way it organizes its perspectives of the universe, forms its purposes and significances, and reach judgments about what it recognizes (Wu 342).

Drum-Taps consist of the personal past record of Walt Whitman’ war era occupation. Walt Whitman boldly asserts the personal value and that of the oneness of entire humanity. Whitman defiant oppose the past poetic styles and concerns exerting a significant impact on American literature and thought. In Whitman’s poem, about the Memories of President Lincoln, he expresses his inner grief. Walt depicts the ideal American in Lincoln. He was a genius for his knowledge of the American political setting, and a hero for taking part of the war, in an attempt to protect the togetherness of the nation. Whiteman’s “Memories” got to be quite eminent in his own era, signifying that he tapped into a comprehension of this great figure.

In Robert Penn Warren’s poem on Democracy and Poetry, Warren constricts the worldwide terms of his theme and delineates the relationship of the self to that of its society. Using democracy as his topic, he illustrates the political equilibrium of the individual as well as the state, which has resulted during American past. Warren strongly believes that wholly developed self is the prime requirement. In Warren’s opinion, this kind of evolved self-have to identify a felt unity principle shaped by personal responsibility implemented over time. Thus, Warren breaks his democracy and poetry consideration into two progressive essays: “The Diminished Self and America” and “Selfhood and Poetry”.

One of the major challenges in communication is as a result of attempts in reading individuals’ mind or expecting them to know what you are thinking about. People respects individuals’ needs and opinion if those individuals express their needs and opinions accurately. Self-assertiveness helps people to overcome depression, resentment, frustration, and violence.
Works cited
Kim, S. A., W. S. Park, and I. H. Song. “Effectiveness of an Alcohol Use Prevention Program for Low-Income Youths in Gangneung, South Korea.” J Health Edu Res Dev 4 (2016): 155.

Park, Heawon, and Myungsun Chung. “The effects of self-assertiveness and appearance satisfaction on psychological well-being.” The Research Journal of the Costume Culture22.5 (2014): 728-742.


Wu, Collen Shu-Ching. “Overcoming Oneself as Subject in Dickinson’s Poetry: Adorno and Heidegger.” Styles 49.3 (2015): 334-353.


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