chapter  5
15 Pages

Pushing Up to a Point: The Psychology of Interpersonal Assertiveness: Daniel Ames

O n most days, it does not take a great deal of social interaction for us to remember that other peoples’ goals and interests are not perfectly aligned with our own. We want to sleep in late, and our spouse or child wants to get up early. We want a clean sidewalk, but our neighbor forgets to pick up after his dog. We want our work colleagues to meet the deadlines they have given us, but apparently they have other plans. Wishing it were otherwise-that everyone would want exactly the same things we do-is folly. Besides, it would not make for a very interesting world; variety is the spice of life. So dealing with this “spice” is a signi–cant part of the human condition. How do we cope with the ever-present fact that others surround us whose interests and goals diverge from, and sometimes oppose, our own? Do we press hard for our goals to be satis–ed-and, if so, why? Do we yield to others’ claims-and, if so, when?