Becoming more assertive people tends to be confused with expressing what we want more aggressively, in a way that we will be heard and, most likely, end up getting what we wanted. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth, as being assertive has more to do with acknowledging others’ feelings when we communicate. If we feel like we get pushed around at our workplace or at home, these simple steps will help us become more assertive without being aggressive to others.
- Work on your self-confidence. More often than we think, one of the main challenges we must face in order to become more assertive is working on our self-confidence. If we try to make everyone like us, and we are constantly looking for their validation, it will be really hard to be assertive. Therefore, understanding that our self-worth is determined by ourselves and not others will help us take the first step in the right direction.
- Remember to value others. Many tend to believe that being assertive is the same as being aggressive when expressing our wants and needs. However, this is really not the case, and in order to become more assertive, we need to remember to value others. When we care about the other person will feel when we express our thoughts, it is easier to find an effective way to make our message come across.
- Face tough conversations with courage. We know that having difficult conversations can be quite scary, especially when what we have to say is likely to make the other person upset or hurt their feelings. That’s why it is important to have the courage to express what we want, without completely disregarding others, of course. Instead of worrying about the outcome of the conversation, make sure you don’t keep anything to yourself. The results will be worth the effort.
- Develop assertiveness techniques. Luckily for us, there are many assertiveness techniques we can develop in order to communicate more effectively and practicing the three points we mentioned above. Some of these techniques include personalizing the way we communicate. This means expressing our feelings based on our personal perspective, and using “I” statements instead of “You” statements. Addressing the behavior instead of the person is another great way to express our feelings without hurting others.
“To be passive is to let others decide for you.
To be aggressive is to decide for others.
To be assertive is to decide for yourself.
And to trust that there is enough, that you are enough.”
― Edith Eva Eger