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Asserter or accommodater: which are you?

An asserter

 

An “asserter” (from the word “assert”), is someone who speaks or takes actions to express or fulfill his or her own desires or commitments with little or no concern or awareness of the fears, needs, desires, and commitments of others. A good way to get an idea of a “pure asserter” is to think of the behavior of a typical two-year-old child.

An accommodater

 

An “accommodater” (from the word “accommodate”), is someone who speaks or takes actions in such a way as to always try to ensure that another or everyone else’s fears, desires, needs, and commitments are included as primary considerations in his or her decisions. A good way to get an idea of a “pure accommodater” is to think of a person who is good, who is always giving to others, who wouldn’t hurt a flea,

who is always thinking about the feelings of others, and who always puts himself or herself last on the list.

 

Which is better?

Many adults have learned to manage an uneasy balance between the asserter and the accommodator in their personalities, but not feeling truly comfortable with either one. However, real power and satisfaction come from balance and synchronicity between these two modes.

 

Which mode do you favor? 

Often, we will favor one mode over the other, especially in a given area of life or in a relationship with a particular person. For example, in a marriage, often one spouse will be an asserter and the other will be an accommodator.

 

Attracted to what we have disowned in ourselves

It is common to be attracted to our spouse or lover because he or she expresses what we have disowned in ourselves. In my relationships with my ex-wife, when we were married, and with former girlfriends, they were most often the asserter and I was the accommodator until, at least with my wife, I became an asserter and said, “goodbye!”

 

Choosing courage to start using "both legs"

It is often a choice of courage for an asserter to be an accommodator, and it is often a choice of courage

for an accommodator to be an asserter.

 

True power and freedom come from consistently exercising both the left leg of accommodation and the right leg of assertion, as well as being able to choose appropriately between the two according to the situation.

 

Where in your life might it be more valuable to make more use of the "other leg"?

In what areas or situations in your life might you choose the courage to exercise your “leg of accommodation”?

 

In what areas or situations in your life might you choose the courage to exercise your “leg of assertion”?

 

"A successful social technique consists perhaps in finding unobjectionable means for individual self-assertion."

-Eric Hoffer (1903-1983, American author, philosopher)

 

“'Love' is an expression and assertion of self-esteem, a response to one’s own values in the person of another. One gains a profoundly personal, selfish joy from the mere existence of the person one loves. It is one’s own personal, selfish happiness that one seeks, earns, and derives from love."

-Ayn Rand (1905-1982, writer, philosopher)

 

"He alone is wise who can accommodate himself to all contingencies of life; but the fool contends, and struggling, like a swimmer, against the stream."

-Latin proverb

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