Of Doormats and Dominators - TestYourself.psychtests.com Releases Results of Their Research on Assertiveness

TestYourself.psychtests.com reveals the importance of assertiveness, and how the lack thereof can negatively impact our sense of self.

MONTREAL, CANADA (MARKETWIRE) -- August 23, 2011

TestYourself.psychtests.com, one of the web's foremost sources of personality, career, and IQ assessments unveils results of their popular Assertiveness Test. Their study results indicate that despite our seemingly egocentric society, being assertive isn't as easy as it seems.

Your meal at a restaurant is undercooked. Your partying neighbors don't understand the meaning of common courtesy. You've worked your butt off and feel you deserve to be compensated. Ideally, people in these situations will lift their head high, march straight to whoever's in charge, and firmly state their desire in a polite but straightforward, "won't-take-no-for-an-answer" manner. "The problem is, a lot of people won't take these assertive steps, coming up with a myriad of excuses. "If I complain about my meal, they'll get angry and tamper with my food." "If I complain, I'll be labeled a prudish neighbor." "I don't deserve a raise/I'll get fired if I ask/I'll just wait until they give me one." So the unassertive sit and fume over an unjust world where they never seem to get what they want.

Analyzing data from nearly 7,000 people, TestYourself's Assertiveness Test reveals that the majority of the population is moderately assertive, but many avoid speaking up for themselves, preferring to hold their tongue.

"While assertiveness has a lot to do with confidence, there are other factors at play as well. Some of us don't want to 'rock the boat', some keep mum because they don't want to hurt others' feelings, some don't want to look unkind, and others are just avoid potential conflict" explains Dr. Jerabek, president of the company. "The problem is, when we don't give voice to our needs and desires, we start to feel unfulfilled and resentful. When we don't assert ourselves in situations that demand it, it's like laying out a Welcome mat, encouraging people to step all over us, over and over again."

The benefits of being assertive are numerous, the most obvious being attaining what we desire. Research has also shown that assertiveness training builds self-esteem and a sense of empowerment (Sazant, 2010), and even reduces anxiety (Wehr & Kaufman, 1987) and self-harming behavior in individuals with personality disorders (Hayakawa 2009). In addition, TestYourself's study shows that more assertive people tend to have better grades in school, better performance ratings at work, and are much more satisfied with their job than their less assertive counterparts. TestYourself's data also reveals that:

  • 20% of test-takers have been told that they should be more assertive; 29% were told this by their manager.
  • 20% feel intimidated by authority figures.
  • 29% feel that others take advantage of them.
  • 31% will speak up to a waiter if they are not satisfied with the service.
  • 34% would tell their neighbors to quiet down if they were making too much noise.
  • 42% feel comfortable saying "no" to people.
  • 49% don't feel comfortable asking for a raise, even if they feel they deserve it.
  • 52% admit that they put others' needs ahead of their own.
  • 56% admit that they replay arguments in their head, wishing they had had the guts to say what they really wanted to.

"Being assertive requires a certain degree of comfort with vulnerability, and that's probably one of the main reasons why people hesitate to speak up for themselves," explains Dr. Jerabek. "Assertiveness means risking dissention, rejection, and embarrassment. It can spark conflict if the message doesn't go over well. Some people have trouble being assertive without being aggressive. But not speaking up communicates to others our own erroneous belief that our needs don't matter; that we are not worthy enough to ask for what we want. Assertiveness training can be extremely beneficial, along with the realization that being assertive does not imply or require aggression."

Guidelines for saying "no"

Other assertiveness tips from TestYourself.psychtests.com:

  • You don't HAVE to justify why you are saying "no", but it you feel compelled to do so, explain your reason for declining the request in simple terms
  • Suggest an alternative solution that suits your needs and the person you are saying "no" to.
  • Don't feel like you need to apologize. Remind yourself that the decision is entirely up to you.
  • Use nonverbal assertiveness to underline the "no". Make sure that your voice is firm and direct. Look into the person's eyes as you refuse. Shake your head "no" as you say it.
  • If you are saying "no" to someone whom you would help under different circumstances, use an empathic response to ease the rejection. "I understand your predicament, but at the moment I don't have the resources/time to effectively deal with your request."

Those who wish to take the Assertiveness Test can go to: http://testyourself.psychtests.com/testid/3091

About TestYourself.psychtests.com
TestYourself.psychtests.com is a subsidiary of PsychTests AIM Inc. TestYourself.psychtests.com is a site that creates an interactive venue for self-exploration with a healthy dose of fun. The site offers a full range of professional-quality, scientifically-validated psychological assessments that empower people to grow and reach their real potential through insightful feedback and detailed, custom-tailored analysis.

About Psychtests AIM Inc.
PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the internet scene in 1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. PsychTests AIM Inc. staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts. The company's research division, Plumeus Inc., is supported in part by Research and Development Tax Credit awarded by Industry Canada.

Contact:
Ilona Jerabek, Ph.D., President
Psychtests AIM Inc.
http://testyourself.psychtests.com/