Wouldn’t you love to speak more confidently, stand your ground and express how you feel openly? Whether it’s to decline an invitation, stand up to someone, or ask for what you want, being assertive isn’t always easy. But how can you get what you want, if you don’t speak ask?
I was called ‘easy-going’ but I know the word you’re really thinking- Pushover! I hate that word so much, that I decided to make some changes to be more assertive. And, it’s changed my life!
It sounds corny, but I really do feel stronger since I started to speak up for myself. I can’t believe how much more I have received since I actually started asking! And I’ve realized just how truly passive I was before. I only wish I had of started speaking up sooner.
Warning– Not everyone will like the new you. I’m sure those who are used to your ‘easy-going’ personality will be a bit surprised when you finally start speaking up. It might take time for them understand the new you, but don’t revert back to your passive ways just to please them!!
Why Are You Being Passive?
Passive behaviour can be the result of many things. Maybe you’re a people-pleaser. Or, you’re a little insecure, and so you choose to stay quiet. Or, the thought of any possible confrontation gives you anxiety so you avoid it at all costs!
When you get to the root of why you are a passive person, you can choose to change your ways!
What’s So Bad About Being Passive?
Passive behaviour, is self-sacrificing behaviour. You’re putting your own needs below the needs of others. It’s perfectly normal and healthy to be passive in certain situations. But being habitually passive, can be dangerous to your own mental health. It can lead to resentment, anger, and even depression down the road. You have to care for yourself and your needs!
You need to realize, you are here to live the LIFE you want. Not the life others want you to live. You, and only you, are in control of your life.
How To Be More Assertive
You can’t just go around demanding stuff, expecting results (wish my kid would get that memo). You need to be assertive, without being aggressive!
How you communicate, can get you very far in life!
It’s more complicated than just what we say. It’s also how we say it and our body language!
The Benefits Of Being More Assertive
Imagine being able to get the promotion you’ve worked so hard for, or pay a fair price for the used car you want, or express how you feel to people without fear? Being assertive can help you in many areas of your life. When you’re assertive, you effectively express what you want, without being passive or demanding. Assertiveness falls somewhere in between being passive and aggressive.
Some people seem to be naturally good at being assertive, while others are either too demanding or simply can’t manage to speak up.
Maybe you’re shy or timid and afraid of any confrontation. Maybe you’re expecting the worst, and so you don’t even bother asking for what you want.
Whether it’s negotiating a deal, or expressing your opinion to family or at work, being assertive can help! Stop wishing for it and start asking for it.
Once you find out specific things you can do to help you make the change to greater assertiveness, and then practice them, you’ll find it easier and easier to be bold and assert yourself in social situations.
Some people believe that people are just the way they are and it should just be accepted. It’s true to a certain extent, but you’d be surprised by how much you can change when you’re truly dedicated. If you want to be more assertive, you can be, regardless of others’ opinions.
Use these strategies to help yourself become more assertive:
1. Believe in yourself. Self-confidence and believing in yourself are very important traits. Strengthening your confidence in yourself and your abilities can bring you greater assertiveness too.
* A good way to start building your self-confidence is by reflecting on your talents and skills. Write them down. You may be surprised at the length of your list! Feel good about yourself and do what you can to improve even more!
2. Learn how to deal with your frustrations. If you keep everything bottled inside, you might end up exploding in someone’s face. People won’t see this as assertiveness; more likely, they’ll see it as arrogance or aggression. When you’re frustrated, voice your opinion as soon as you can while the situation is at hand and work out your differences together.
3. Be calm and clear. Staying calm and talking clearly will convey assertiveness and self-confidence in social situations. It’s a great rule to remember if you’re ever feeling negatively in a situation. Remember to tell yourself to be calm first and then concentrate on your clarity.
4. Overcome your fears. Fears might be holding you back from being assertive. You may even fear being in social situations. Face your fears head on by placing yourself in situations you fear. Start with smaller manifestations of your fears and move up to larger ones step by step.
5. Express your needs. It might be hard to break out of your shell the first time, but eventually people will listen to what you have to say. Let them get used to the fact that you’re speaking up and showing that you have wants, needs, and desires just like anyone else.
6. Pay attention to body language. Give extra attention to your body language when you practice being assertive. People will know that it’s a front if your shoulders are hunched or your arms are crossed. You might even have a nervous tick. Open up your shoulders and relax your body before you begin speaking.
Being able to assert yourself can help you get what you want! You’re still going to have to do things you don’t want to do, but limiting that can make you a happier, better person.