New Assertive Woman, The

Excerpts & Samples

By Lynn Bloom

Publisher : Selfhelp Success Books

ABOUT Lynn Bloom

Lynn Bloom
Lynn Z. Bloom is Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor and Aetna Chair of Writing at the University of Connecticut. She has authored nearly thirty books, including The Seven Deadly Virtues and Other Lively Essays and Writers without Borders.



Assertion is the hazy line between passivity and aggression. With societal preferences in constant flux, so is the amount of confidence and authority that is acceptable for women to display. Many women believe that it is inappropriate to display any anger at all. They are kept subdued by deep-rooted guilt and irrational beliefs, often taking responsibility for how others feel or react. Deciding when to be assertive can be a troublesome issue, and many choose to avoid the decision altogether. Their interpersonal achievements are gained through forms of manipulation. They communicate their preferences by sending covert, ambiguous, or unclear messages. Such indirect communication protects them from making mistakes and accepting blame. Even when used with the best intentions, passivity itself can backfire. Avoiding conflict can cause feelings of anger and frustration to build up, eventually resulting in outbursts and cycles of anxiety and low self-esteem. The answer to such self-defeating behavior can be found in this handy primer on assertion. Exercises, questionnaires, tips, and role-playing activities help conquer ineffective communication skills. Once provided with the resources to become confident, capable, and able to express themselves, women can easily manage difficult relationships with bosses, coworkers, family, and friends.