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How to Be More Assertive: 6 Steps to Get What You Want

Assertive behavior is something every person should practice. It helps with stating out feelings and needs clearly, without having to take an aggressive or passive role in your own life. Learn how to present yourself as assertive.

How to present yourself with more assertive behavior

Being assertive is a skill, like any other. Some people are born with it, feel free practicing it, while others need to work on improving it. That is nothing strange. After all, not all people are as confident in themselves from the first moment. When in love, there are many direct and indirect ways to tell a guy you like that you like him. If you lack confidence and you feel like there are various things going on in your life, but you somehow feel always left out or in the shadows of great events, this is the moment to start working on your assertiveness. Being assertive only means claiming your spot under the sun, where you belong at the first place, and nothing more than that.

young woman in hat and glasses

How to be more assertive

1. Start off small

Trying to do everything at once, over night, is not going to work and you should know that before you start anything. As in lots of other cases, practicing this particular skill takes time, so be patient and keep it simple and small.

2. Saying 'no'

Don't think that saying "no" to someone is a bad thing. Once in a while you should do that, and you need to understand that not everything needs to happen as soon as someone asks you to. It is OK if you don't have time or means at the moment.

3. Forget about guilt

Feeling guilty because you turned someone down or said you were busy on a day you simply stayed at home and relaxed once in a while? Don't. You should start looking after yourself first, for a change.

4. Express your feelings

There is nothing wrong with you telling someone how you feel. You can't assume that people are able to read your mind and know what you want from them- you have to be the one to tell them.

5. Study up

Get informed about what it means to be assertive, as well as how to deal with various situations in the process of overcoming those spontaneous initial reactions you usually have.

6. Speak direct

Talking with honesty will earn you respect and give you the confidence to keep being assertive. Speaking directly will solve most of your confidence problems with people.

Find out What You Can Do in Order to Be More Assertive and Get What You Wanted with Help of These 6 Tips

Have you ever thought about what it means to have an assertive behavior? For starters, there are some things you need to be aware of in order to start your assertiveness training.

1. Dream big, but start off small

woman in strawhat walking down road

We all know that the beginning at anything is always the roughest part of the road. So, don't expect this one to be any different. You have to start off at some point, otherwise, you'll never move from the place you're at right now. It is important that you first realize that you want this for yourself. After that, don't just sit down and expect things to unfold differently than usual. You haven't done anything yet. Put some effort into your assertiveness training exercises and be patient. It's not all going to magically come true overnight. Like you need some time to first learn how to walk so you could run someday, here, you need to learn certain things in order to be able to apply them spontaneously someday. It doesn't mean that you shouldn't have hopes. Of course you should. In fact, you should have big dreams of what you want to achieve. It only means that you should be as realistic as possible about the effort you need to put into this, as well as about time you will be needing. This includes everyday work, which will ultimately get you to your goal.

2. Say "no" to yourself and others

stop cross walk signal

When you are kind of a person that is used to pleasing others, putting their desires and needs before what you feel and need, this step might be a challenging one at first. What is the catch? You need to learn to appreciate yourself more. One of the main exercises on how to become more assertive is taking the time for yourself and learning how to set the boundaries for the others. Finding yourself in situations where you always have time for others and none for yourself puts you in an enchanted circle, where other people are used to being able to always count on you, no matter what. That has to be changed. Not always you have to agree on something you don't feel comfortable with. You will spontaneously have the urge to accept those kinds of situations, but stay focused on what you want to change and say no, first to yourself and your basic reactions, and then elegantly decline the other party's suggestion or invitation. It might be awkward first couple of times, but, you'll get used to it. On the other hand, try to keep it all balanced well. You don't have to decline everything and forget about your moral compass all of the sudden. Just make simple boundaries and try to stick to them as much as possible. Every now and then, there are going to be some exceptions you will make, and that is the point.

3. Get rid of the guilty feeling

woman being pointed at

One of the main problems is usually how to be more assertive at work. Every time you decline something, you start feeling guilty because you think that you could have done it, and perhaps ease someone's current situation with that. If someone asks for your help, first, try and see if that person is really in some kind of real trouble. Feeling guilty comes from having the notion that someone was really in distress and in the real need of help at the moment you responded with a negative answer. Understand that some people, especially at work, have the tendency to ask for help when they don't feel like working. Their need for help isn't based on how problematic their situation is, but on the fact that they feel they can get someone else to finish the job for them. The best thing you can do about becoming more assertive is to practice on your friend. Have your friend asking for your help all the time, for both important and small things. In each occasion, try to recognize the level of importance, and soon, you won't feel guilty about saying "no" to others after you estimate the situation and make a decision.

4. Learn to express your needs and feelings

dice for emotion

There is no person in the world that can see into your soul or mind. Mind riding is maybe a real thing, but very few people can deal with that skill. Everyone else are just simple people, like you. Everything you feel and have the need for, you need to learn to explain in an appropriate manner. You shouldn't have to sit down and say nothing about what you need or the way you feel. You shouldn't demand a royal treatment either. Be aware that everyone around you have needs, which are as important as yours are. What you should do is to work on improving communication skills, speaking up for yourself, try being more assertive and finding the golden middle on how you're going to tell the others that you are in the need for that specific thing. Also, the way you express your feelings and needs are important. Try to use formulations like "I feel that..",or "I think that.." which will put you in the right place, without being aggressive or passive in your behavior.

5. Get well informed on the topic of assertiveness

drawing of woman speaking

One of the main things about learning how to be more assertive and confident is to first is to get informed really good. Getting a hold of a totally different way of thinking and functioning in your life is a very important step. First off, there are differences between being passive, aggressive and assertive, which you need to clear to yourself. Being assertive only means claiming what is yours, not letting others push you around, but also not pushing them around. That kind of behavior is pretty well balanced. There are various training courses as well as books on assertive behavior and how to achieve it, which can help out in the process. Internet is a huge place, and there is no doubt that with the today's technology, you have everything basically handed on the plate. There is no book you can't read or find online, and not just books. Various experts have their own sites, as well as contact forms for asking questions. Use that and educate yourself about all the things you can do in order to improve your assertiveness skills.

6. Speaking directly and openly helps

people on break from work

Being honest about everything you feel and need, in whichever situation you find yourself in, is one of the best ways to clear every misunderstanding and get your confidence back. People aren't usually used to being open about their feelings, as well as about their needs, so very soon you will find lots of people who will respect you for that. Good communication skills are the basis for great relationships, regardless of their type- boss-employee, teacher-student, relationships between friends, love relationships,.. Having regards for other people's feelings or needs will ultimately result in getting your own needs and feelings respected in return, which is the main goal of assertive behavior in general.

Setting limits and boundaries, learning how to express your thoughts or feelings, finding the right way to decline something, without feeling guilty about it, is something that most of people work on their entire lives. Respecting not only other people's feelings but also your own, is the point about being assertive and acting assertive.

By Abie Giles

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