Psychologists define assertiveness as “the ability to express yourself in a calm, open, and direct way while still respecting others.” Assertiveness is the intermediary between an aggressive and passive style of communication. It is rated as a vital skill that improves the quality of life and relationships with friends, family, and co-workers.
Assertive people take a point of view and defend it while helping others understand their point of view. People who lack this skill have their boundaries constantly violated by others. Assertiveness is a skill and is associated with self-confidence and self-respect. Like all skills, assertiveness can be learned with a little bit of time and discipline.
Learning assertiveness is a wise choice as psychologists have proven that being assertive helps reduce stress, control anger, and improve the overall quality of life.
This article shall discuss tips you can use to learn assertiveness.
You need to have a strong belief in your value to be more assertive. This involves gaining a good perception of yourself and your value. The foundation on which assertiveness is built is this high self-value and belief. Once you value yourself, it’s easy to protect your boundaries and kick against everything that tramples on your rights and dignity.
Standing up for your needs and wants also becomes infinitely easier with a healthy self-value and confidence. Care should, however, be taken as self-confidence and self-importance are separated by an extremely thin line. Self-confidence is understanding that your needs, feelings, and thoughts are as important as everybody else, while self-importance is thinking they are MORE important and overrule every other person.
Boldly Voice Your Wants And Needs
A tip to being assertive is to confidently state your wants and needs and ensure they are met. Do not wait for another person to miraculously perceive what you want, as you might have to wait forever. Identify what you want and clearly state it to avoid other people making this decision for you.
Remember to stick to your demands once you state them as long as the demand is reasonable and made with respect. Stating your needs in an aggressive or pushy way might ruin your relationship and make people less likely to see things your way.
A sure sign of non-assertive people is the inability to say No. While saying no can be quite difficult, especially if you’re beginning your journey to being more assertive, saying no is essential to being more assertive.
Say no if that’s what you feel about a request or solicitation. A common reason people give for saying yes even when they do not feel like it is trying to avoid conflict. However, always saying yes to all requests is a sure way of reaching a massive conflict shortly as you cannot satisfy everyone. Protect your time and interests by saying no when that’s what you feel like on the inside.
Don’t Try To Manage People’s Emotions
Saying no can leave most people feeling sad or disappointed, and it is a common mistake to fall into the trap of trying to make them feel better. This is usually a bigger error than always saying yes. When you say no, and people act resentful or angry, acknowledge that they might be having a hard time and move on.
Avoid the mistake of trying to make them feel better or responding in the same way they reacted to your assertiveness. As long as you made the best choice for yourself and you were courteous about it, move on and let them handle their emotions themselves.
Research has linked self-confidence to being assertive. If self-confidence is an issue, it can be quite difficult to say no to a request by your boss right after reading this article. A good way to being more assertive is to start small.
You can request a different table at a restaurant, say no to an invitation to watch a game, or saying no to a child throwing a tantrum for candy. Develop your assertiveness step by step. These baby steps, when constantly practiced, build the foundation of a life of assertiveness at the highest level.
While assertiveness can be learned, it requires constant practice, time, and dedication to master it. Take a step today by practicing the tips recorded in this article, and you’ll soon find yourself being more assertive.
Jude: The Divorced Dadvocate
I am Jude Sandvall and I am a divorced, single father of 3 children. My divorce and the subsequent years are a case study in facing and overcoming the most difficult challenges in learning to thrive after divorce. I’ve been through it all including the court process, co-parenting, dating with kids and more!