We all have the desire to stand our ground and openly show our feelings and emotions. Maybe you have been invited to a party that you don’t wish to attend, or you would like to stand up to a colleague at work. However, being assertive does not always come easy.
As a social skill, assertiveness relies heavily on proper communication. You also have to respect the wishes and thoughts of others. Most people struggle with assertiveness because deciding the difference between being too pushy or strong and appearing insecure and weak can be problematic.
In this article, we offer a few insights on how to be more assertive without appearing too pushy. We also give insights on when it may be appropriate to consider online therapy.
Defining the Concept: What Is Assertiveness?
Have you seen those polite and confident people who can maintain eye contact and good body posture, standing up for their opinion and needs?
Assertiveness can be defined as the interpersonal skill that allows people to show the healthy confidence to stand up for themselves. When someone is assertive, they are neither passive nor aggressive.
Assertiveness means that you are honest and direct about your needs and desires, while respectful of the rights of those around you.
Why Should You Be More Assertive?
One notable reason why we should all develop assertive communication skills is that it allows us to improve our self-confidence and be in alignment with our needs. When you are assertive, you will get a better understanding of your worth and the value.
At the workplace, assertive people are better managers. They often get things done and treat others fairly and with respect.
Assertive people also make good negotiators. You will never settle for less. This applies to the workplace as well as in personal life.
Assertiveness also helps people become better doers and problem solvers. When you are assertive, you will be empowered to do whatever is needed to find the most ideal solution for the challenges you face but following your values.
Being assertive also helps reduce anxiety and stress. We deal with tons of uncertainties each day, and we need to build an ability to handle challenges, stand up for ourselves, and care for our well-being.
How to Become More Assertive
Being more assertive is possible if you deliberately work on your communication skills. Here are a few tips on how you can become more assertive:
H3: Learn to Value Yourself and Prioritize Your Rights
Although it is good to care for others, you should always make yourself a priority. First, you need to understand who you are and what you stand for. Once you have a strong belief in your abilities and values, you will be able to stand for them more confidently.
Belief in oneself is also important when it comes to building self-confidence. To be more assertive, you should understand that you deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Stand up for your beliefs and rights, wants, and needs.
However, remember that while your feelings and desires are important, the rights and needs of others should also be considered.
H3: Understand and Appreciate Differences
Another important tip for improving your assertiveness is understanding diverse viewpoints. Note that being assertive does not mean that you dismiss other people’s opinions if they differ from your own.
Instead, you should learn to clearly articulate your opinion, while allowing others to present their views and accepting them.
Try not to be upset by contrary opinions. Those differences do not make your views less important or wrong.
Be Direct and Simple in the Communication Process
Assertive people know how to articulate their point of view while being respectful. Present your points in a simple, direct, and concise manner, stating what you mean from the outset.
Be Positive in How You Express Yourself
Life can be tough, and one part of being assertive means learning to speak out about what is on your mind, even if you are dealing with challenges.
That said, you should control your emotions to avoid anger outbursts or communication problems, but don’t fake them for yourself. Process them later, know how you feel, talk about your problems with others. Keep positivity but care for your mental well-being.
Confidently Articulate Your Needs and Wants
If you are going to be more assertive and perform to your potential, you need to ensure that your wants and needs are met. Don’t just sit and wait for someone else to acknowledge your needs as this may never happen.
Instead, take the initiative and declare those desires. Set clear goals outlining how you intend to meet them.
Recognize Your Limitations
The most important thing to consider if you want to be assertive is to acknowledge your limits. For instance, while you need to stand up for yourself, you will not be able to control how others behave.
Don’t try to take responsibility for how people react to your assertiveness or you as a person. If you speak your mind and someone gets angry or resentful, it is not your fault. Just avoid reacting in the same way or offensive situations.
You can only control how you behave and react. So, do your best to remain calm even if things get somewhat tense. Just make sure that, in being assertive, you remain respectful and direct.
Set Boundaries and Learn to Say “No”
Boundaries are those limits and rules you create for yourself, which determine what you are willing to allow. You don’t want others to walk over you, but it is also important not to present yourself as a bully by showing aggressive behavior.
Setting clear boundaries and knowing when to say “no” is crucial for assertiveness and self-care.
When to Seek Professional Help
Setting boundaries and working on your communication skills can help when it comes to being more assertive. You should also use positive self-talk and be kinder to yourself.
However, there may be times when you will need to get professional help from a licensed counselor, especially if you are finding it hard standing up for yourself or have self-esteem issues
Underlying problems, such as anxiety and stress, can make it hard to stand your ground and ask for what you need. A competent therapist can help you determine the roadblocks and develop the tools to build your self-confidence. They can help you rediscover yourself and learn how to care about your needs and values.
The good news is that you can now easily access counseling services without having to book an in-office appointment. Thanks to teletherapy platforms like Calmerry, people benefit from accessible and affordable support online. You can meet your therapist there today.
Kate has a B.S. in Psychology and an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from
Pepperdine University and has been working in healthcare since 2017. She
mainly treated depression, anxiety, eating disorders, trauma, grief, identity,
relationship, and adjustment issues. Her clinical experience is focused on
individual and group counseling.
Follow Kate here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kate-skurat-5348381b9/