Being Assertive

Many people find it difficult to put across their thoughts in opposition to ones that are quite difficult for them to accept. Be it a colleague, or a classmate, or just a friend or a neighbour, it becomes increasingly difficult to cope with the pressure of not being able to voice out one’s decision. They lack the capacity to be assertive. But what does that mean?

Being assertive is perhaps a trait that is roughly in the middle of being aggressive and being passive. By being assertive, you will be able to convey your needs and thoughts while also acknowledging the needs of others. Here are some tips that could help you be assertive.

1. Learn to say no.

People worry that saying no is egocentric. However setting healthy boundaries is significant to having healthy relationships.

2. Let go of guilt.

Being assertive can be unpleasant for you — particularly if you are being assertive for the first time. However do remember that being assertive is vital to your psychological well-being.

3. Express your needs and feelings.

Don’t assume that someone will automatically know what you need. You have to tell them. Again, be specific, clear, honest and respectful.

4. Stay calm and respect others.

When you are speaking with someone, remain composed and polite. This will enable the other person to heed what you say and reciprocate the mannerism.

5. Use simple sentences.

Communication may seem like a simple task, however, much of what we attempt to communicate to others – and what is communicated to us – can often be misunderstood. This may cause frustration or conflict in our relationships with other people. When communicating with someone, state your feelings, wants, opinions, and needs in simple sentences. This will help the other person clearly understand what you’re asking

6. Use appropriate body language.

Always remember when being assertive, your non-verbal communication is important. The next time you talk, observe how your body supplements the conversation.

Being assertive is a skill that can be developed with time. You can talk to a trained counsellor to guide you in acquiring this skill. Being assertive could help you in avoiding a lot of unnecessary stress and burden.

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