Be Assertive Without Being a Bitch!
Being assertive can be termed as standing up for your rights and expressing your feelings, wishes, desires and wants in an honest, appropriate and direct manner.
When asserting yourself you should do so by respecting the thoughts, beliefs and feelings of other people. This is how you minimize being a bitch!
Learning to be more assertive in your communication is an important part of personal or interpersonal skills you will use at home, in the work place, with employers, customers and colleagues and helps you to express in a clear, reasonable and open mind without undermining the rights of others.
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People have a tendency to project themselves as nice and easy to get along with in an effort to be liked by everybody. This is a fear mechanism. This is detrimental to the process when you are first learning how to be more assertive in life. Therefore, they maintain a habit of keeping opinions to themselves hoping to avoid conflict with other people’s thoughts and opinions that may differ from their own.
This will often lead feeling of:
- Being taken advantage of
- Being cheated
- Being overlooked
“You teach people how to treat you!” ~ Oprah Winfrey
Assertiveness Training is Communicating Confidence
You will need to begin with a change in mindset. When initiating assertiveness, you must let go of that which are holding you back by overcoming your fears because they will not serve you. You will be doing that which feels uncomfortable, especially at first, but that is how you develop good habits- so start with these low-risks high-reward situations before you being to take on the bigger situations.
- “NO” is a complete sentence! Use it more often in a firm way at the same time maintaining a considerate attitude. Remember: YOU MATTER!
- Keep your requests and preferences simple, direct and short. Don’t be confusing or contradictory.
- Take ownership. Use “I” in all the conversations. Try not to be accusatory and no interpreting the other person’s behavior. Keep it all about you. You don’t want them to interpret it as a personal attack about them.
- It will be hard, but try not to feel guilty when you express your rights, wants, needs, and desires. Do not be apologetic when making a request. Stand tall in your truth.
- Body language and tone is an important part in building assertiveness. Look the person in the eye and speak with confidence in a clear and compelling voice when making your point.
- When you make your point ensure that, you have well enough reason and can justify your choice, opinion and behavior when people try to disagree with it. Remember: you needs and desires are grounds enough…
- Be persistent by remaining cool, calm, and collected. When affirming your new found assertiveness, in the beginning, people may try and tend to override you, stand firm. It may take some people some time to adjust.
- Make sure that you do not get angry or defensive when people disagree with your request or opinions. Listen, as you may learn something from them that you didn’t take into account but do not cower or give in just because they are angry. If you feel justified in your request, realize that disagreements are par for the course.
“It is a mistake to look at someone who is self assertive and say, “It’s easy for her, she has good self-esteem.” One of the ways you build self-esteem is by being self-assertive when it is not easy to do so. There are always times when self-assertiveness requires courage, no matter how high your self-esteem.” ~ Nathaniel Branden
Recommended Read: When I Say No, I Feel Guilty by Manuel J. Smith PhD – #1 Best Seller in Assertiveness Training on Amazon.com
Assertive In Life
Assertiveness at its core is all about dealing with people in a direct and honest way and that can sometimes be a double-edged sword. It gives you the power to speak up if something is bothering you or to openly ask for something you want, all while keeping a calm and civil demeanor. That can be difficult for you to do as if it’s not something that comes naturally or it can be something that goes against your upbringing… However, there are benefits of assertiveness:
- In family life, assertiveness plays an important role for both the partners to make the relationship strong and healthy.
- People who are assertive are less prone to stress because they do not worry over things like what other people are thinking about them.
- When you are assertive, you feel as if you are in control over things because your attitude and behavior is controlled by your own decisions.
- Assertiveness makes you less resentful and makes your relations with others more enjoyable.
These benefits come after time. You may not feel them all immediately afterwards. You may lose friends or people may accuse you of changing and that’s where inner strength and acceptance comes in. When you feel you are doing what’s right and your acceptance of yourself is not defined by others… this will be less of an issue.
A change in the dynamics of (any and all) relationships takes an adjustment period. Some people come aboard and others may never accept it. You must decide if you are okay with the outcome of being more assertive or staying timid. There is no right or wrong, it’s all about you deciding your life path and what YOU are willing to live with. This is one of those life challenges we all must confront.
How to be more assertive is a lifelong practice, and takes time. If you just stay persistent in your efforts, pick your battles wisely and prudently, it will pay off in the end.
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