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How to Be More Assertive in Life

How to Be More Assertive in Life

There is a secret to getting more what you want out of life, and it is no surprise that it starts with the way you communicate. People are either aggressive, giving demands, while some are too quiet and passive, ultimately letting others walk all over them.

However, the secret to good communication and success in life is to be more assertive. Being assertive is the ability to successfully communicate your needs, wishes, thoughts, or feelings without disrespecting others and, in turn, getting more of what you want out of life. Use the suggestions below to help you be more assertive in life.

Practice and Take Chances

Put yourself out there more and take chances to be more assertive. If you sit back and expect things to happen, chances are you won’t change. Take on more responsibilities at your job or within the household, attend more local events or anything you can to get you out of your comfort zone.

Mind Your Manners

Being assertive doesn’t mean you should be rude or disrespectful. It includes understanding how conversations flow and when is the most appropriate time to speak up. Learn about proper communication techniques to improve your conversations, making them more effective and productive.

Stay Positive

Don’t allow negative energy or thoughts to manifest in your interactions with others. Even if the conversation you need to have is difficult, always keep negative thoughts in control. Find the positive outcome of the situation and make sure your body langue, tone of voice, and speed match.

Always Expect Positive and Negative Reactions from Others

Don’t assume a conversation or reaction from others is always going to be your way. You can’t control them or even teach them to communicate “properly.”  Expect any outcome to happen and be mindful of yourself and the situation in each given moment. This way, you are more prepared to make the right reaction.

If you don’t expect others to have a negative response towards you, you might not be prepared for the reaction you will take, ultimately leading to an aggressive response. Assertive behavior includes standing your ground and being respectful towards other people's feelings, thoughts, and opinions when you do.

Practice Empathy and Compassion

Remember, being more assertive is a balancing act between aggressive and passive behaviors. Therefore, you need to be empathetic and compassionate to those around you. This way, you can learn to understand everyone's perspective and get what you need easier and more appropriately. If you assume everyone is like you, you will be viewed as aggressive or egotistic, for example.

Take Time to Understand Others

The more you understand those around you, the better you can effectively communicate your needs or wishes respectfully. Ask challenging questions so you can be on the same page faster.

Remember always to stand your ground respectfully, be true to yourself, and keep practicing. No one is perfect, and that is the beauty of it. If you fail, at least you are trying.

5 Techniques to Communicate Assertively

5 Techniques to Communicate Assertively

Assertive communication is the type of communication that everyone should aim for when talking with others. It is the balance between passive communication and aggressive communication. It is communicating your thoughts, feelings, and opinions clearly and effectively without disrespecting others around you. Use the five techniques below to help you communicate assertively.

Be Confident

Be confident when you speak or walk into a room. Confidence means that you believe in yourself and your abilities. When other people see your confidence, they won’t feel the need to question or challenge it to do your confident behavior.

Be Clear

Make sure you deliver your message clearly and concisely. Be sure your talking points are aligned and flow with the direction the conversation is moving. Don’t confuse people with too many talking points or subjects that don’t align with one another.

Be Controlled

Be calm and controlled with your tone of voice and the speed at which you are talking. You want to sound relaxed and not rushed or irritated. Talking fast can make people feel confused, which will not make them feel trusting.

Stop Being A People Pleaser

Assertive communication does not mean you will change everyone's mind and get your way every single time. However, assertive communication does include making sure those around you know who you truly are while preventing them from trying to walk all over you. People pleasers, as lovely as they are, tend to get taken advantage of because they want to make sure everyone is happy.

Be Present in The Moment

When communicating, be present and in the moment. Don’t dwell on past mistakes or think about others who are not in the conversation unless it leads in that direction. Truly listen to what is being said. Repeat the message to be sure you and they know you understand them. Pay attention to every word they say, don’t say, and their body language, too, so you can respond appropriately. Missing details or bringing up other things can cause distrust and will ultimately lead to aggressive communication.

Practice Fogging

Fogging is an excellent technique designed to eliminate hostile confrontation in a conversation with passive or aggressive communicators.

For example, if a co-worker asks, “Why didn’t you turn in the assignment, you said you would help me with? I am over your lying and trying to deceive me!” You can reply, “Yes, I did not turn the assignment in when I thought I would. I can see this has upset you.” The idea is to have a response that is calm and truthful but doesn’t fully agree with what they are saying to prevent arguing or a negative response.

Developing assertive communication skills takes time and practice. Remember these techniques, and you will be more successful in your career and relationships.

9 Effective Tactics for Dealing with Difficult People

9 Effective Tactics for Dealing with Difficult People

Sadly, almost everyone must deal with a difficult person from time to time. The problem is that not everyone is equally prepared or skilled to do so. If you want to be better with people learning good communication tactics will help.

  • Set Yourself Up for Success – If you know in advance that you may need to deal with a difficult person, prepare for it. Plan how you’ll control yourself, respond and react to the person so you both experience success.
  • Listen More Than You Speak – When you deal with people, listen more than you speak and aim for a better understanding to solve more problems.
  • Set Limits and Boundaries –It’s not aggressive to set limits with others. This helps you stay on track while helping others understand your priorities and realistic expectations.
  • Keep Calm and Be Courteous – Even if other people are demanding or loud, keep calm, and continue to be courteous. Don’t allow yourself to be drawn into the dramatics of others.
  • Avoid Being Defensive – A difficult person may want you to focus on something inappropriate, which can come in the form of implying something that makes you feel defensive. Don’t fall for the ploy. Just take a deep breath and move to the next conversation point.
  • Address Needs and Provide Solutions – Difficult people tend to focus on needs and solutions rather than feelings and emotions. Keep conversations low-key and on point.
  • Get Help from An Ally – If a person is especially difficult, you may need help from an ally that the difficult person respects. For example, in a divorce, you may need to hire a professional mediator to help you both.
  • Don’t Make Demands – When someone is difficult, they may make demands of you. People don’t generally calm down when told or stop adverse reactions just because you want them to. Just move past the reactions by ignoring anything that is not conducive to the issues.
  • Be More Self-Controlled – Dealing with difficult people requires that you find a way to keep your emotions in check. Practice self-control in your interactions.

Getting good at dealing with difficult people is a skill that will carry you far, in life. You’ll be more likely to negotiate good deals, and you’ll be seen as the type of person that brings people together which is a good sign of a prosperous leader.

Be More Assertive When You’re Shy

Be More Assertive When You’re Shy

The very first thing you need to do if you want to be more assertive in your life is to understand what assertive is and what it isn’t. Being assertive does not mean that you are aggressive. You don’t have to be rude to be assertive. To be more assertive simply means that you stand up for yourself, speak up at the time that it’s needed, and respect the rights of others.

Prepare and Practice

Whenever you want to be better at something, the best thing you can do is overprepare and practice. You can practice by doing assertive things in a small way, such as practicing saying no. But you can also use visualization to practice so that when you find yourself in specific situations, you can fall back on the way you visualized it.

Find a Few Seconds of Courage

You don’t really need to be brave for very long to speak up for yourself. You simply need a few seconds of courage to stand up and say what you wanted to say calmly, clearly, and directly.

Choose Your Communication Channel Wisely

When you have something to say that is important to you think about your audience. What is the best way for them to receive the information from you? Is it best heard in person or best in a letter or an email? How about a text. It’s important to think about what you want to say and how you want to say it before doing it.

Act Confident Even When You’re Not

Your granny likely told you to “fake it until you make it” and there is a lot of goodness and truth in that advice. However, don’t think that you’re being dishonest when you act confident, even if you don’t fully feel it right away. Most people aren’t really going to know you’re nervous. Just speak up anyway. The more you do it, the more it’ll feel natural.

Speak Slowly and Remember to Breathe

When you do finally speak up at the right time, take a deep breath, and say what you need to say slowly and clearly. Speaking fast might make you trip over your words and cause miscommunication.

Make Eye Contact with People

A lot of people have issues with eye contact, but they are completely honest people. Even if you have an issue with it, understand that most people in the USA, at least find it off-putting if you don’t make eye contact. But remember you don’t have to make eye contact all the time, just part of the time. It’s not a staring contest.

Know That Saying No is Okay

Learning to say no is part of being assertive. If you’re a people pleaser, it’s easy to get into the habit of always saying yes and being that quiet person that everyone counts on. Try saying no to some of the things you don’t want to do or really don’t have time to do as practice.

Learn to Make “I” Statements

When you speak, since it’s not an academic paper, use “I” statements. I think, and I feel are the ways you can express yourself to others in a way that makes them hear you. Because what you think, and feel is important.

If your issue is genuinely shyness, or about being an introvert, practicing will help you become more assertive. However, if you think you have deeper issues such as social anxiety you may want to speak to a professional to help you move past it. Hiring a counselor or a life coach can help you break through if you’re having issues getting there.

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