EQ on My iPod–Assertiveness

What songs wake up or call out your Assertiveness and activate your emotional intelligence (EQ)?

In the EQ-i model, Assertiveness is the ability and tendency to take a stand and put your needs, thoughts and opinions out into the world–even when doing so invites opposition or conflict.

Here are a few of my favorite Assertiveness boosters–songs that remind me and even show me how to find my voice and put myself out there. Click the album cover to hear the song.

Emotional Intelligence TrainingBrave, Sara Bareilles

What a great song about finding your voice–“Say what you wanna say, and let the words fall out. Honestly, I wanna see you be brave.”


Emotional Intelligence TrainingRoar, Katy Perry

Another great contemporary song about speaking up. “You held me down, but I got up–already brushing off the dust. You hear my voice, you hear that sound, like thunder gonna shake the ground.” Come on everybody, let me here you roar!


Emotional Intelligence TrainingNot Ready to Make Nice, Dixie Chicks

After their lead singer criticized then President George W. Bush, the Dixie Chicks were in a swirl of criticism that included protests and even death threats. This angry song–a great example of Assertiveness–put their quite successful careers on the line and while it won them Grammies for both Song and Record of the Year for 2006, it also cost them their primary fan base, and the band broke up not long after. Assertiveness has its price.

emotional intelligence trainingNo Surrender, Bruce Springsteen

“We made a promise we swore we’d always remember–No retreat, baby. No surrender.” The Boss could always be counted upon for a great, growly plea for Assertiveness.


emotional intelligence trainingYou Oughta Know, Alanis Morissette

Alanis Morissette was all over the radio in 1995. This empowered voice–angry and self-assured–from such a young woman was so fresh and compelling. Sometimes the truth hurts, but you still ought to know it. In this song, she lays it out plainly and clearly.


emotional intelligence trainingI Won’t Back Down, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

The lyrics could not be much simpler–“I won’t back down. No, I won’t back down. You can stand me up at the gates of Hell, but I won’t back down.” Tom Petty’s laid-back urging for us to stand our ground and find our Assertiveness.


emotional intelligence trainingGo Your Own Way, Fleetwood Mac

While half the songs in the rock-n-roll canon are angry-ish “Get out of here!” songs, few are as potent as this Fleetwood Mac classic from 1977.

What is on your Assertiveness playlist?

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