Learning to be assertive is hard especially when, this is not your way. Passive and passive aggressive people who are learning this skill really struggle with saying what is on their mind and still finding that nice and lovable way to communicate.
This past weekend, I was given an opportunity to practice my assertiveness and I jumped in. It was in the form of a text but still this was helpful to me. I waited before responding until I was in my good happy place, then I made a list of what was asked, reread the list and hit send. The response was #hostile. This of course kind of hit me hard, I was not expecting that. So today, I am going over the 5 ways to be assertive.
1. Having a clear understanding.
Assertiveness is a skill in which you demonstrate the healthy confidence to stand up for yourself while still respecting the rights of others. When you are assertive, you are being direct and honest. You speak up to ask for what you need calmly and with confidence.
2. Boundaries: set them.
Boundaries are your rules, your guidelines that assist in you determining what you will or will not allow in your life. Boundaries help you decide if you should say yes, no or I need more time to think about this.
3. Be confident in what you are stating.
Body language, tone and words have equal weight in expression. There needs to be confidence in each of these things. Smile, stand up straight, keep eye contact, lean in while they are speaking. If you disagree, say so, but also allow them to finish what they are saying. If you want something, ask for it. No one has the power to read minds these days.
4. Differences, we all have this, especially with opinions.
Respect what they believe and what they say. Do not get angry or upset. Know in the beginning that differences will come up be prepared for them. Sometimes, being assertive can build excitement and will come across as aggression. Just remain calm, breathe normally, stay present in the moment and respond accordingly. Try your best to understand their point of view.
5. Simply Direct
Speak simple and direct to what you know or believe is true. Less is more in this case. Each person has their own feelings and thoughts. No one should be made to feel wrong or bad for their feelings or thoughts. Be able to use “I feel” or “I believe”. Try not to use always and never, especially if the word you is in front of them. We are looking for understanding and acceptance from both parties, the win/win.
There is always the case that the other party just simply does not want to come to terms with you. This is fine, some deals do not need to be done, some people just want to treat others poorly. This is yet another thing we have to accept and move on.