There are many scenarios in which being assertive helps. As you go throughout life, there will be many situations in which you will be required to be assertive. In many cases, being assertive will require you to say "no" to the demands of others.
At the same time, while there is nothing wrong with telling others "no," you will want to do so in a manner that does not offend them. There are often times when we find ourselves in tough situations, situations where we should say no, but we often do not. There are a number of reasons for this, and overcoming this barrier can allow you to become much more assertive.
The first type of scenario in which you will want to be assertive is a situation where someone is requesting something from you, something which is valuable. The two things that people will request the most from you in this world is time and money.
Time is a commodity that you cannot get back once it is used, and the money that you give to the person may be hard or impossible to get back from them as well. Many people find it hard to say no in this situation because the person making the request may be a friend or family member, and the individual may be passive.
People will often appeal to your guilt when trying to ask a favor of you. Those who are involved in charity work will often talk about things such as the number of people who are suffering in the world, or things of this nature in order to appeal to your guilt or sensitive side so that you can donate money to them.
Your friends and family may explain that they are in a tight spot, and that they could end up in a bad state without your help. These are times when it can be incredibly difficult to tell the person no, particularly if you are a naturally passive person.
Never let your conscience get in the way of being assertive. One thing that you have to understand is that 90% of the people who ask for your help often do not need it. For example, it has been found that many charities do not actually give the money they earn to those who are in need, and that family or friend who is asking you for money probably put themselves in a position where they need it.
They are probably poor money managers or they are simply trying to use you. Regardless, giving people what they want often does not help them, and you often end up the victim.
If you are like many people, there have probably been times when your manager or boss asked you to do overtime, or something else that you did not have to do. Again, if you are a passive type, you may decide to do it simply to avoid conflict, but again, this is a situation where you are likely being used.
You should only work the hours that you agreed to work, and you decide to work more, it should be because you genuinely want to, not because you feel pressured by your superiors to do so. It is crucially important to understand the necessity of protecting yourself at all times.
The one thing that you have to keep in mind is that human beings are non-altruistic, people rarely do things because they care about you. This includes family members and friends. In most cases, when someone requests something of you, they have some sort of agenda, and it is usually something that will benefit them as opposed to you.
To protect yourself, you must always be willing to look out for your own self interests. Remember, if you do not look out for your own self interests, no one else will. But being rude or aggressive with people is not necessary.
Do not let people use you, but do not be rude or aggressive with them. When your boss tries to get you to do overtime, and you know that you would rather go home and do something else, just tell them so. If they get upset about it, it is their problem, not yours.
If they are willing to punish or fire you because of it, then this means that you did not need the job anyway. If your family member or friend asks you to borrow money, no matter how much it is, just say no. They would be better off learning how to balance their own finances so they do not have to ask you for money all the time.