Being assertive is a skill that comes naturally to some but not to all. It’s a trait and skill that can get you far in life, when balanced evenly. However, if not kept in check, assertiveness can come across as abrasive, rude, or even mean or aggressive.
In this article, we’re going to explore the topic of assertiveness; we’ll cover what it means to be assertive, how to become more assertive, and how to keep that assertiveness in check.
What does it mean to be assertive?
According to The Better Health Channel, “Being assertive means being direct about what you need, want, feel, or believe in a way that’s respectful of the views of others.” Being assertive can offer many benefits to almost every area of your life, when kept in balance.
For example, when you’re more assertive in the workplace, you show your superiors that you have the qualities required of a leader and the confidence necessary to go for what you need or want. In your relationship, being assertive has a whole slew of benefits.
First off, it can help you have the confidence to ask someone out in the first place. Secondarily, assertiveness allows you to identify and be clear about what you want and need in the relationship, improving communication between you and your partner and ensuring the healthy state of your relationship.
What can you do to be more assertive?
The first thing you have to do when trying to be more assertive is to make the decision to positively assert your views and yourself and commit to it. It’s not enough just to think about maybe trying to be more assertive in situations, like you think about how you really should work out more while you’re eating dessert. You have to commit to it.
The next step is improving your communication and listening skills. These two skills are crucial in assertiveness. You need to communicate openly and honestly with a respect for those with whom your speaking. In addition to that, you have to become an active listener.
Pay close attention to what people say to you, try to understand their perspective and don’t interrupt. The key to having the right balance in your assertiveness is to respect others and allow them the space to be assertive, as well.
Lastly, in the actual practice of assertiveness, you want to stay calm, avoid guilt tripping, and use what is referred to as “I” statements. “I” statements (I think, I feel, I know) are much more assertive and more constructive than “you” statements (you never, you always), which tend to be more harmful.
How can you keep your assertiveness in check?
There’s a fine line between positive assertiveness and abrasive rudeness. A good way to keep yourself in check and ensure you aren’t toeing that line is to be observant, not just of yourself but of those around you.
Take time throughout your day to reflect on yourself, your behavior, and your choices. Watch how others behave around you; if your loved ones seem uncomfortable with your behavior or put off by your attitude, you should examine your assertiveness and maybe make some adjustments.
Being assertive can get you far in life, but there’s a fine line between being positively assertive and being rude. If you keep yourself in check when working on your assertiveness and create a good balance, you can go further and be happier in your life. Assertiveness can lead to promotions, healthier relationships, and a more positive self-image. We hope we’ve helped to instruct you on and guide you through improving your assertive behavior.