Morris the dog was walking past a property one day and he was suddenly confronted
by a large black dog who barked ferociously through the fence at him.“What are you doing?’ asked Morris.“I’m guarding this property.” responded the black dog.“What are you barking at me for? asked Morris.“-Because you’re a threat. Everyone has the potential to break in and steal from me, so I’m not taking any risks and am barking at
everyone.”Morris shrugged his shoulders and walked away, thinking about how much energy the black dog was unnecessarily wasting. The next day, he walked past the same property, but instead of being confronted by the vicious guard dog, he was met by a furry ball of fluff.“What happened to the large black dog?” he asked.“He annoyed his owners by barking all of the time, so they gave him away and replaced him with me.” replied the ball of fluff.“You don’t look
very scary.” observed Morris.“I’m not. You never have to worry about me being too
angry.”“What would you do if someone tried to steal from you?” asked Morris.“Why
would anyone try to steal from me? I’m such a nice cute doggy that no-one would
ever take advantage of me.”Morris shrugged his shoulders and walked away,
hoping that the little ball of fluff would be
The next day he walked past the same property and was met by a large golden
retriever.“What happened to the little ball of fluff?” Morris asked.“Some intruders
came last night and all he did was roll over to have his belly scratched while the place
was ransacked.” replied the retriever.“So, what’s your strategy for guarding this
place?” asked Morris.
“I’ve learned that not everyone’s a threat, so there’s no point in barking at everyone
and keeping them at a distance, but I’ve also learned that being nice and polite
won’t always cut it either as not everyone has my best interest at heart. Others will always know that I’m here, but I feel comfortable enough with myself that I don’t need to rant and rave to be heard or look after everyone else’s needs to be liked. I’ll just be calm and clear when communicating, decreasing the risk of being taken the wrong way.”
“I think I’ll be seeing a lot more of you,” said Morris, suitably impressed as he went on his way.
Assertiveness is a quality that everybody desires but rarely people are able to grasp
the concept. This story of the 3 guard dogs explains this concept in a beautiful manner.
The first guard dog was extremely aggressive. He was always alert assuming that
everyone that steps into his space and zone is a threat. His nature became to attack and
defend himself and his property all the time. Being constantly alert and thinking
that the whole world is out to get to you is going to drain your energy and not leave
you feeling safe and sure, but actually highly insecure.
The second dog was the other extreme…- passive. Being over friendly and not stating what you truly feel but trying to pacify everyone or impress everyone all the time can work against you. People may take advantage of you, use you or completely discard you without taking a second look at you because you do not have the backbone to stand up for what you believe in. Assertiveness is usually misunderstood for aggression or over confidence but it actually
is the balance between being fierce and passive. Assertiveness allows you to live
life from a place of strength of knowing when you need to put your foot down and
when you need to adjust to the environment around you. Assertiveness allows
you to know when to be alert and when to be relaxed.
A quality that can be developed through practice in different situations. Learn to
start being aware, acknowledging and living your strengths which is the simplest
and most effective way of being assertive in your life.