Have you been in a situation where you could not say no to a person?
Perhaps it could be because you wanted to please others or you’re afraid of confrontation. In order to avoid confrontation you say yes or simply you want to be liked by others.
Believe me, we have all been in this situation including me. I want to teach you 5 simple strategies that you can use to be more assertive in your life.
How becoming more assertive will change your life?
There are a host of benefits in becoming more assertive. People have self-assurance being more assertive will increase your self-confidence.
You will feel less stress when dealing with demand and criticism. Assertive people are treated with respect and it will be well perceived by others.
Instead of allowing others to have their way or take advantage of you-you’ll be able to negotiate win-win solutions. Being assertive will allow you to be your true self you won’t have to agree to do things that you don’t want to do anymore.
Definition of assertiveness
Somebody assertive states their right, needs and opinions clearly, so that people take notice. An assertive person asks for what they need without demanding or being disrespectful to others.
In order to be more assertive, I think it’s very important that you understand the three communication styles.
This is where you allow people to decide for you. The passive style is although they know what they want they would deny their words or need and sacrifice at their own expense to please others.
The aggressive style is when the person decides for others and only care about getting their own way. They usually mean dominant inconsiderate of other people. They tend to alienate others.
The assertive style is when you are aware of other people’s wants and are respectful. When you are assertive you feel content and you express your emotions and wants honestly and directly.
You tend to find imbalance and a compromise. In most situation being assertive is the best style that you can adopt. There is also passive aggressive style where this mix of both being passive and aggressive.
Here are 5 tips on how to be assertive.
1. Value yourself
One of the most important things you need to learn to be more assertive is to value yourself. If you do not value yourself how can you expect others to respect or value you.
You need to know that you are sufficient we all have a little voice in our head that influence our thoughts. This little voice may be telling you that you are not good enough, you will not succeed.
It’s all in the mindset. It is important that you keep a positive mindset. You need to tell yourself regularly that you can do it. Don’t allow your limiting belief to ruin your potential.
By developing a habit of positive statements regularly you will strengthen your belief and begin to value yourself and this will be one of the stepping stones in becoming more assertive.
2. Know your rights
Think about this, most unassertive people appear to be unaware of their fundamental rights. They allow other people to step on their toes.
It’s important that you know that you have a bill of rights here are three examples of rights that I have for myself.
- I have the right to say what
- Have the right to express my emotion
- I have the right to ask for what I want
You can set your own bill of rights. These rights are able to give yourself permission to be more assertive.
3. Speak up
Now that you value yourself and you know your rights you need to know exactly what you want. Imagine you are at the bank and you’re waiting patiently in the queue to be served by the cashier.
Out of the blue somebody walks in front of you and tries to jump the queue. How would you respond?
I bet you would be angry about it or upset at least. Would you voice your emotion and fight for your rights to be
respected in that situation.
I know for sure that in the past I would probably have not said anything about this but nowadays I would fight for my rights. I may say something like excuse me “I have waited in the queue to be here could you queue up like everyone else please”.
You need to voice your needs and wounds. speak clearly and honestly and be direct. You need to learn to say no if you have to refuse a request. It is paramount that you stay polite and tactful when you make this request.
4. Stand up for yourself
One common trait among people who value themselves is that they ensure their rights are respected. They set personal boundaries to protect their rights and live in alignment with their core values.
If someone attempt to overstep the boundaries there won’t be afraid to confront that person. We have been grown
up in a society where we think that confrontation is bad.
Let me tell you that confrontation is not always bad. If you do not confront somebody who oversteps your boundaries you encourage them to behave disrespectfully towards you.
In most situations, if you call someone out on their unacceptable actions or behaviours they will realize they cannot get away with it. They will show more respect towards you.
I want to stress that when you do to be able to be respectful and firm at all times. Make sure that you don’t inflame the situation. Your intention is to defuse a situation and make sure that your rights are respected.
In most situations in our social standing up for yourself would give you the best results. However, in some rare situations where you may be threatened by somebody like someone is trying to steal you with a knife. At that situation, confrontation is not the best solution because it can cost you your life.
5. Use effective phrases
There are many phrases out there that you can use to be more assertive. I want to give you practical phrases that you can use instantly.
1. Use a broken record
The broken record is where you stick to your point until the other person accessed your request or agrees to compromise. Let’s say you want to buy a bag in a store and found that there was something about the bag that was not working and you want to return it.
The person on the other side of the counter does not really want you to have your money back. He tries to persuade
you to get a voucher so that you can buy something else but you really want your money back.
You don’t want to get anything else from the store so what you do is you keep saying that I want my money back because I do anything else from the store.
So you stick to your point until the other person accedes to your request or agrees to some compromise that satisfies you.
2. I statement
I statement is where you say something about yourself. Let’s say you at work and you’re trying to focus on something very important and your supervisor calls you every 10 to 15 minutes to do something else.
In that situation what you would do if you make a statement about how this is affecting you without being
accusatory. You may see something like I cannot focus on my work when you keep interrupting me.
3. Describe your feeling
This is very powerful. You can use it for close friends or family members. For instance, if your partner has been returning home late for a few days and that upsets you-you could say “when you come home late I’m concerned”.
Observe people around you how they are interacting and see whether they are assertive, passive or aggressive and start using these effective phrases.