Are you afraid to tell others what you really have in your mind?. Do you just keep quiet even if in your mind, you are already opposing what others are saying?. Then you are lacking assertiveness. Being assertive is speaking up what you have in mind. It is telling others your opinion and not just accepting what they say.
Assertiveness involves the manner at which an individual expresses his beliefs, thoughts, rights, and needs in a straightforward, open, honest, and respectful way. Being assertive does not include violation of another individual’s rights and inflicting pain directly or indirectly to get one’s way.
At times, this is seen when an individual is willing to enter a compromise when his thoughts, rights, or needs are in conflict with another individual. This proactive behavior is opposite the antisocial behavior where an individual’s need is attained by means of a willful violation of the rights of others.
Being assertive brings about personal rewards
- The development of self-confidence is nurtured when one is assertive. The behavioral aspect of being assertive is seen when someone is able to speak up amidst people who opt to be quiet about things involving decision-making. This is seen more in settings where an individual’s life is being affected by a certain decision.
- It provides an individual a sense of control about how he approaches the different elements in his environment. An individual will feel more empowered to arrive at self-directed decisions and express the ideas he has in mind. At times, assertive people need the power to influence others as well.
- It provides the foundation to build positive relationships. People will respond in a more honest manner to those who are honest about themselves and others. Note that the type of honesty referred to is one that involves constructive communication.
- It increases the chances of getting what one wants.
While assertiveness is a positive behavior, it also has its drawbacks. Assertive people are sometimes perceived to exude superiority when immersed in settings composed of passive people. Sometimes, in the presence of less-assertive people, an individual may cause intimidation.
This brings about difficulties in getting useful ideas across and people may feel as though they are less favored. Inversely, assertive people may also feel bad when things do not turn out as they wanted. Because of the greater chances of them getting what they wanted in the past, the expectation of events turning out the same way is high and may result in frustration when it doesn’t.
Tips to increase your assertiveness
- Tell your thought and stand up for what you believe and your rights. It prevents you from just agreeing to others and being taken advantage of. For you to clearly understand it, explained here are the types of it. First is empathic assertion. In here, whenever you speak up, you also think of how the other person feels. You recognize first the feeling of that other person before you tell him/her how you feel. Next is basic assertion wherein you simply say your opinions, beliefs and feelings. Here you are being straightforward.When someone constantly violate your rights and do not respond to what you say, you do the next type of it, escalating assertion. As the name implies, you increase the assertion and becomes more firm in telling the others on how you feel and what you want.
- Let go of guilt. Many times you will find yourself feeling guilt especially if you’ve been passive or a people pleaser most of your life. Remember that being assertive is vital to your well-being. You might have negative thoughts such as ” I feel bad because I am not going to the party”. Replace this negative thoughts with something like: “I deserve to be with my children and I will not put my family in jeopardy just because I want to please my coworkers”.
- Learn to say NO. If you’ve been a people pleaser most of your life, is hard to say NO. You might feel that by saying NO you are selfish and don’t care about other people. This is not true, you have to learn to put yourself first and remember that if you want to have healthy relationships you have to sett healthy limits. Saying YES when you want to say NO will make you feel resentful because you are doing something that you don’t really want to do.
It is important to be assertive so that others won’t think that they can make you do whatever they want to. It will prevent you from just saying yes and ending up unhappy. From now on, promise yourself to be assertive and it will make you a better person.
Being assertive means that you believe that everyone is equally worthy with the same opportunity to agree or disagree. Assertiveness means that you are firm and at the same time tactful.
Resources to overcome Lack of Assertiveness
Photo by Tim Gouw