The Dance Between Receptivity and Assertiveness

by | Jul 30, 2021

For example, there are times when it’s important for a woman to be receptive (a feminine trait of accepting what is being offered) and there are times when it’s important for a woman to be assertive (a masculine trait to ask for what she needs).

Although being receptive or assertive are not direct opposites (you can be both receptive and assertive at the same time), which one you draw more energy from in any moment can change the way the experience plays out.

The question then becomes…

>>How do you decide which trait is best suited in that moment?<<

When I was writing my ebook Desirable and Deserving (click here to learn more), I was getting a lot of feedback from women who weren’t completely aware of how to identify masculine and feminine traits.

Whenever I have conflicting moments or confusion within my beliefs, I go through a 3-step process that was shown to me by one of my mentors, Frank Kermit. He helped me define the meaning behind the words I used when expressing myself.

For example:

One of my challenges was, knowing when it was time to be receptive and when it was time to be assertive.

After my divorce, I needed to become more assertive with my life in order to create financial stability. This tenacious will helped me build a career of my dreams and the thought of being receptive almost seemed too passive and weak. Yet I intuitively knew my femininity needed attention because I wasn’t feeling warm and fuzzy inside.

So to help me understand what I was feeling, I would take each term (ie. RECEPTIVITY) and go through the following process.

  1. What do I mean by RECEPTIVITY?
  2. Then look at other people’s definition of RECEPTIVITY and whether it discredits or adds to my belief.
  3. Finally, make a decision as to what definition of RECEPTIVITY I’m going with.

Therefore, I’ve observed receptivity has a willingness to receive and being responsive to suggestions, ideas and people.

Then I dug a little deeper in order to fully understand WHY men love a woman who is receptive.

Receptivity may seem like a passive trait but remaining open to what is being said requires effort, which means asking yourself…

>>How does what is being said apply to you?<<

It doesn’t mean giving up on your beliefs but listening to what is being presented to perhaps get clarity on your belief.

This process opened my mind. I learned that a person can gain power and inner strength when they define and then articulate the meaning of a word. Then it allows room for the person to actually feel the meaning of the masculine or feminine trait in real life.

What you’re looking to identify are the subtleties about what a particular word means to you specifically. Just like in dance there are many ways to lead and follow and every subtly can create a different reaction.

For example:

The amount of muscular tension between partners can make a movement snap to attention or melt into an embrace.

It is those subtleties of your unique relationship with yourself that come through in all of your communication and the manner in which you move through life.

Does being receptive mean one has to accept everything? Of course not. This is when having healthy boundaries are handy. Often the problem lies when we break our own boundaries, which sends out conflicting messages.

Here is how I defined assertiveness through the same process. I see it as having a bold confidence when communicating clearly what you want or need.

Being assertive is a more masculine trait if you consider the definition of masculinity as strategic, having direction and connected to the mind.

>>Yet, being assertive is often confused with being aggressive…<<

…(which has a certain hostility or demand attached to it). This is when your tone, body language and INTENT play a big part in sending the right message.

Therefore, for me when to be assertive or receptive will depend on context and timing.

The process above allows for a more harmonious dance between a feminine and masculine traits because you will be drawing on both energies consistently throughout your life and this will help you recognize where you might out of balance.

Jimmy, consider how you embody RECEPTIVITY and ASSERTIVENESS throughout your day. Define these words for yourself or adopt my definitions. Notice when you’ll need to draw on one trait more than the other.

I’d love to hear if defining these words helped you in any way. Let me know if it changed the way in which you LISTEN and then ASK for what you need.

Be all the woman you were meant to be!

Patty Contenta

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