Being assertive is a skill, that you can develop with practice.
What is Assertiveness?
It is an interpersonal skill. If you are assertive, you will be able to stand up for your rights confidently. At the same time, you may respect other’s viewpoints, needs, and rights. You are clear, direct and honest in your approach. An assertive person is able to do things, without the concern of how he or she is going to be perceived.
When you are assertive you are able to speak for yourself calmly and confidently. Your self-presentation will be more effective.
Advantage of being assertive
Being assertive helps you in many ways. It provides you a better understanding of who you are, and what are your values. Assertiveness helps you in your personal and professional life. It makes you an effective communicator.
Sometimes, things do not go as you planned then you may feel a higher level of anxiety and stress if you are not an assertive person. Instead, if you are an assertive person, you may feel assured and empowered to find a better solution to your current problems.
If you are assertive, you can find a common ground to connect with other people which in turn helps you to build rapport with others in personal and professional life. It would normally lead to win-win situations. Assertiveness neutralizes your fear and shyness.
You might be thinking now, how can I recognize an assertive person? An assertive person’s posture should be tall and confident. And he or she has a direct approach. The voice should be relaxed and clear. You can even see natural gestures too.
You can take small steps to strengthen your assertiveness.
Be bold enough to make a request to your colleague, perhaps to ask for a favor to your neighbor or roommate.
Do not beat the bush and waste your time. Rather express your complaint and disagreement with I statement.
Be ready to give compliments and also to accept compliments with thank you.
Be open to your positive emotions.
Less is more
When you are assertive, be simple, clear and direct. Make simple requests do not spend your time making elaborate explanations, rather present things politely and calmly.
Use I statements, make your request by using I statement and also make use of this statement when you express your disapproval.
E.g. You are very controlling, instead, you can say I feel unhappy when you make me feel guilty for spending time on learning piano.
Remember, Assertiveness is a fundamental part of success. Do not shy away from being assertive. Studies show that leaders having assertiveness have a better chance of being a better leader.
Keeping an open mind
Pay attention to other person’s ideas. It may help you learn and do things easily and effortlessly. It may help you learn constantly and improve.
Learn from failures
Failing an inevitable part of life. When you face failure in any area of life, do not spend time brooding over. Instead, think and find out what can you learn from your failures. What caused these failures?
Build your strengths. Perhaps, you could not buy the house or car you aimed to buy, that is ok. However, do not be afraid of failures. Be brave to face your mistakes and setbacks. Consider your failures and mistakes as a learning opportunity.
More Effective Communication
Do you have difficulty in saying no, in situations, where you really want to say No? What would be the reason behind it? Maybe you do not want to hurt other’s feelings, maybe you do not want to be perceived as a selfish, unsupportive and rude person. Or perhaps you are fearful of causing offense.
In some situations, we will say Yes even when we actually do not want to say Yes just to get the approval of other people. However, sometimes you take the courage to say No with a lot of explanations and excuses. Pause a moment and ask yourself How is it affecting your communication?
But, sometimes you will have to say No to meet the requirement of your own needs. You should be able to say No calmly and politely in those situations. You will not be worried about causing offense at this point. You are being assertive now.
Have you ever externalized issues of your personal and professional life? If the answer is yes, it is ok. It is human nature to externalize our own issues.
Take a moment and ask yourself, what are the reasons behind externalizing? Because you are unable to step into another person’s shoes. Moreover, pointing out someone’s fault is much easier than to face own faults. But in reality, it does not serve its actual purpose. It is not beneficial for anyone. Rather it builds more stress and tension.
What are the remedial measures that you adopt to tackle those upsetting situations? Simply learn to recognize the situations where you want to be more assertive and self-supportive. Still not able to do? Just Practice, Practice, Practice.