Have you come across a situation where you are not able to tell another person what actually you want? If yes, you are being passive and rather you should be more assertive. It is not very easy to be assertive for everyone. Assertive is the act of being open to direct communication with the people about what your needs are but in a respectful way. You just have to speak for yourself before it’s too late. Here, you ought to be confident enough to say things. This situation can be faced by you in any path of life whether it is personal or professional. Also, if you be assertive, you make yourself more responsible for the things and people you have in your life.
Does being assertive and aggressive is the same?
Sometimes, people often get confused between assertiveness and aggressiveness. But they both are opposite poles. Taking an example of a situation we face at home, your mom might say you that she is making pizza today but you already ate pizza the previous day and not wanting to have more. So, in this case, by being aggressive you might say your mom, “I am bored of pizza, I won’t eat that, I will eat whatever I want”. On the other hand, if you are being assertive, you can say that, “Mom, can we eat something else today as I have already eaten it the day before?”
There is a thin line between being aggressive vs being assertive. There is a sense of empathy in being assertive for being putting up your point before anyone. Whereas, you do things only for interest without even thinking about what effect it will have on others. You become kind of selfish or can be pushy about things. This is certainly not favorable as it results in unwanted circumstances.
How to become more assertive?
Simply Speak what’s on your mind but in a positive way
Firstly, identify the needs which you particularly want irrespective of the opinions of others. List out your priorities and understand yourself to the core. Secondly, after you identify these things in you, don’t just wait for someone else to find what you need. Take out the proper time to talk out with people and make them know what you exactly feel and what you exactly wish. It is important to note here that while you are doing this, you don’t put any accusations or make other people feel guilty.
Stay away from giving any unnecessary justifications
The things which you discuss should be pretty clear in your mind. This should result in a simple and direct conversation stating what you find to be true. Also, don’t try to give long explanations for what you want. As this can give the wrong impression of inconsistent nature to the people with whom you are conversing with.
Empower yourself to know where to start and where to stop.
When you are being assertive enough, you know your boundaries and limitations of the things very well. You will feel from your inner heart that which all things are important for you and till which limit you can bear the things. No one can just do whatever they want you to do, you have to go by your inner feeling and position your limits accordingly.
Start learning how to say NO from today itself.
Imagine you are working in the office and you got to leave in 5 minutes. But suddenly, your boss comes and says you to make a presentation that will at least take an hour. The need of the hour, in this case, is to say NO. But sometimes, you might fear due to consequences of it. Thereby, you might not have a habit of saying NO directly. In cases like these, you must understand that people take unsaid advantage of you. Instead, you should try to find a win-win solution and say NO when necessary.
You can’t force or control others
After telling your viewpoint, it does not mean that people will always think similar to you. You need to accept the fact that every human being is different. The perception and their upbringing differ a lot. Never make yourself accountable for how people will react to your assertiveness. If they get angry towards you, don’t just start fighting. You have to control behavior and stay calm as you know that it is your right to be assertive.
Express calmly without worrying
Make sure confidence flows through you while being assertive. Maybe you will get excited at times to share what you want, but that should not lead to aggression. Mark your body language and make eye contact with the person you are talking to. Remember that when you are calm and composite, another person will automatically absorb that feeling and may react considerably. While choosing few things, don’t overthink, and choose one which comes to your mind first.
Be open to hear criticisms and feedback
Many times it may happen like things do not turn according to your expectations. You should not just shout at them or find ways to ignore the situations. Rather you must find ways that will avoid sacrificing other’s needs. You should be open to both positive and negative feedback. You must find a way in between when you and the person whom you interact are on the opposite judgments.
Follow good assertive communication
You try to use “I” in your language instead of using “You”. For example, while cooking with your friend, you can say “I feel this can be done better if we add pepper to the mixture” rather than “You always don’t add pepper which makes the dish taste bland”. You can also use verbs like will instead of should, could; opt to instead of have to; and want instead of need.
What are the benefits of being assertive?
You will sense self-satisfaction, and be stress-free with your assertiveness nature. Most importantly, you will take your own decisions and stick to it firmly. You can express yourself freely by respecting another person’s thoughts. Although, it takes time to completely turn assertive from being passive or aggressive. But truly, if you get used to being assertive, you build a good relationship with others. It can be with your boss, life partner, relatives or friends. Being assertive is a weapon for your emotions. Ultimately, assertiveness revolves around our values, it tells that we live our lives not according to someone else’s but according to our values.