Many people often mistake being assertive about being aggressive. It is this confusion that makes us conscious about how we may come across in our endeavor to being assertive. And, we end up keeping our feelings to ourselves rather than express it openly as we would want. Whether it is standing up to your co-worker or your family member or even a stranger, there is no harm in putting across your point and standing your ground.
Confidence is a pre-requisite when it comes to being assertive because, without confidence, you would be easily sidelined by others. If you’re facing issues in your life because of your submissive attitude or if you’re struggling to voice your opinion in front of others as often as you would like, here are the few tips that might help.
Learn to Say ‘No’
Gavin de Becker, a well-respected author, once said he encourages people to acknowledge the fact that “no” is a complete sentence. You’re reading this article because you are passive or submissive by nature and want to change that. It is because you are involved in things you don’t want and often end up thinking or doing more for others than for yourself.
Do understand that it is completely okay to say “No” when you can’t or don’t want to. Your first responsibility is to yourself and your well-being before others. It is not about being selfish; it is called self-care. Rather than saying, “Okay, I’ll do it,” simply say, “I don’t think I would be able to help this time.” When you get into the habit of saying yes, people often take you for granted.
Don’t look out for validation from others. The urge to be liked by others, and always thinking about what others would think about you is the symptom of low self-esteem and low self-confidence. It is the biggest stumbling block to being assertive.
Focus on what you think about yourself rather than giving too much importance to what others say about you. Once you start valuing yourself, you won’t let others undermine your self-worth and self-esteem, and it is what gives birth to self-confidence. And, when you are confident, you can speak your mind, do what needs to be done, and act in accordance with your goals. It is what being assertive is about.
Communication, as well as being assertive, falls into the category of interpersonal skills. You need to speak clearly and honestly about what you feel and what you want while looking at the other person in the eye. Pay attention to your body language as well, and present a confident posture.
Do remember that being assertive is not the same as being hostile, and you don’t have to be dismissive of others. Try and understand the point of view of others and be open-minded. Acknowledge when you’re wrong, but stand your ground when you’re right. Don’t interrupt others and be respectful throughout the process.
Being calm and courageous at the same time is underrated superpowers, and are essential qualities to be assertive. Being assertive is all about standing your ground and not allowing to be treated any less than how you treat others respectfully.