If you want to be successful and get everything you want out of life, you can't let people walk over you. Being assertive can seem to be challenging, but it’s a necessary way to act to get things done. Assertiveness is crucial for effective communication. If you are too passive or aggressive, you will likely alienate the people around you or attract the wrong ones altogether.
How can you build a successful career or strong relationships if you are not truly honest with those around you? Being assertive means always being direct about your thoughts, opinions, emotions, or beliefs while also being respectful of those around you. Being assertive is never about changing or influencing others to be clear on where you stand as an individual.
Implement the five tips below to assist you as you work towards increasing your assertiveness.
1. Actively Listen
The goal of being assertive is to let others know where you stand at any given time. The intention is never to change another's mind. Being assertive means you understand others' thoughts and opinions. To truly understand anyone, you need to listen actively. If you are always thinking of how you can change their mind instead of what they are saying, then you are aggressive, not assertive. Aggressive communication will never reflect your true intentions.
2. Sorry, Not sorry
Stop apologizing for everything you do. It is not your obligation to calm the feelings of others all the time. Even if you do make someone feel uncomfortable due to something you value, don't say sorry. Simply state why and never apologizes for being your true self. It is never wrong to advocate for something you value respectfully.
3. Be Selfish
Put simply, stop worrying about other people all the time. If certain people don't like you or what you stand for, then these are not people you want in your life anyway. The more you speak up and careless, the more stress-free your life will become, and the more experiences you will take on.
4. Learn to Control Your Emotions
To be more assertive, you need to have control of your emotions. You need to be relaxed, keep an even tone, and be mindful of your body language. You don't want to seem aggressive or upset. This will lead people to believe that you are forcing something or don't respect them.
5. Use "I" Statements
A great way to fully communicate your needs is to use "I" statements. "I" statements avoid using the word "you" before expressing something. "I feel,” "I think," or "I get" are a few examples to use.
As with any skill, assertiveness takes practice, and practice takes time. Take everything you need to accomplish in life on its own terms. As they say, “one day and step at a time” is what you need to do to succeed.