Assertiveness is a skill that involves communication and negotiation. A person who is assertive can stand up for what they believe is right, ask what they want, and say no to what they don’t want confidently, calmly, and respectfully. An assertive personality stands up for his personal rights – expressing his thoughts, feelings, and beliefs openly, honestly, and appropriately. It is imperative that we communicate our opinion while demonstrating respect for the thoughts, feelings, and beliefs of others.
Assertive behavior is often hard to identify. People often mistake assertiveness and aggression because they can cross the fine line between the two. More than a way to convey their views, assertiveness is a way to conduct one's themselves. However, assertive communication is the best place to start before plunging deeper into the concept of communication.
Because assertiveness is a common communication pattern, we need to recognize that it's a style of communication that goes beyond the style of speech. Assertiveness is ultimately about values—it means that we live the life we choose based on our values, not someone else’s.
Steps to being more Assertive
It is very realistic that everyone desires to be more confident; however, not all are aware of how to be assertive. Being assertive is somewhere between passiveness and aggression. If you're submissive in expressing your opinion, it's possible that you come across as passive. In addition, if your viewpoint is aggressive, you may come across as a bully or a hostile individual. You will surely have a greater chance of getting what you want if you know how to be assertive instead of passive and aggressive.
1. Feel free to express yourself.
Whenever a trivial decision is at stake—like how to spend time with your friend or partner—just pick the first idea that comes to mind, choose it, and tell them it's the one you want to do. There is no need to consider how the other person feels or whether the action is the right thing to do. Simply state the point you wish to make. You have to express your point of view about the situation after you have presented an overview. When you express your opinion about something, it also prevents those who oppose you from expressing their opinions as well.
2. Be consistent in your communication style.
The key to assertiveness is knowing how to communicate your point of view and being respectful of the people around you. Be mindful of your body language and tone, and make sure you're consistent in what you say and how you present yourself. Make sure people know what you want and how you feel. Look the person in the eye when stating a preference or request.
3. Take Self-Respect and Your Rights Seriously.
To be a more assertive person, you need a solid understanding of yourself and your inherent value. A strong sense of self-worth is essential for assertive behavior and self-confidence. By learning to love yourself, you will understand that you deserve respect and dignity, and you will have the confidence to rely on yourself without giving in to anyone else's desires or needs.
4. Remember to remain calm and focused.
Feeling assertive may cause you to get excited, but getting excited could come off as aggressive. Feel confident and relaxed when expressing yourself. Stay cool and calm during this process so that the other person feels the same way. Keep the mind, speech, and actions calm -- it helps you feel confident by keeping each other at ease. Keep your breathing regular and pay attention to your body language and eye contact.
This article will hopefully help you learn assertiveness and by following the steps you can be more assertive.