"I won't relent being audacious or bold with my ideas, when I can justify them to be sound, practical and reasonable. I'd rather assert my thoughts than keep them to myself if they are worth expressing to promote a good cause."
I am really opposite of being mataray. If I were, I should have the guts to be confrontive. I am not even quarrelsome to fight others because I feel I deserve more. When I am hurt, I'd rather keep that to myself, and release the pain in solitude. Casting my worries to the air really works best for me.
On Speaking my Mind
One time, I sat in a teaching demo. I got really annoyed with the clanging sound of the bangles the teacher was wearing. Afterwards, we were given the chance to ask her questions. First, I asked the usual essential questions. Then I asked the applicant, how she felt wearing those bangles and hearing them clang.
Smartly, she retorded that she felt alright with them, and then she asked me if I were annoyed with it. My reply was, "I could bear with it, but it might be distracting to some students". With that she jolted to one of my colleague how she was pissed with question and my katarayan. She told another teacher, that I was being too nosy.
Last night, I tagged along with my friends to eat in this new restaurant near the campus. The queue was a bit long, and the service was slow. Visibly there are two counters, so we all ligned up to one where there were no customers on queue. Only to be redirected to another counter to place our order, because that first counter was just for payment.
So we placed our order, and I was so famished. Then I moved to the next counter, and the crew asked me, what my order was. I asked "Do I have to memorize my order and repeat it for you, don't you get the information in your POS? I thought this counter is just for paying!?" I stood there, without repeating my order. She went to the first counter and got the receipt.
There have been many instances that some of my friends and colleagues are surprised as to how I could speak boldly about my ideas. Some even say, my trait in so un-Filipino. I get into arguments with other teachers, with staff in malls or restaurants. Sometimes, they are scared that I could get into a fight.
Again, I am not quarrelsome. In words, I just want my ideas heard so that appropriate actions will be taken. That is assertiveness.
Thinking with Our Conquered Minds
For many Filipinos to be assertive is uncoventional, because we operate in a socio-cultural system where we are constrained to be in social accord with others.
To many of us, we don't have the courage to tell another that we are hurt by their actions or words. So we wallow on the pain and then just avoid those who hurt us, as long we could. That is if we could. If we could not, we extend our tolerance for pain. But this allows a leeway for others to use and abuse us.
Most Filipinos see assertiveness not only unconventional, but socially unfitting. Those who assert their views are even branded as mayabang. Those who are able to ascend and grow because they are able to assert worthwhile ideas that contribute to the decision making process and development in any organization are tagged as walang pakisama.
Assertiveness, I believe, is one universal value. Highly effective people who have found thier voice, speak in the same tone and is able to evoke and inspire others. Apparently, it is one among the traits of many great men in history, a cultural value common from the Northern and Western hemisphere of the world.
In successful multinational companies, it is one trait that is highly valued. Those who have it, moves up in the ladder of carreer success. Those who don't remain in their cubicles wishing that someday they will succeed.
Timidity is the opposite of assertiveness. Timidity is not meekness. We must have been conquered because of our warm hospitality, but we were colonized because of our timidity. We won our independence from our colonizers because the great few who were assertive of our rights to liberty, evoked the people to revolt.
Now we see assertiveness negatively. This is a post-colonial mentality. We don't want others to speak up and speak out because their assertiveness is unconventional. It is not easily acceptable because we feel that it violates our value for timidity. Worst, we find assertiveness as being tactless.