Being assertive is the skill of being able to say what you need or want; and being able to protect yourself from what you don’t want–while maintaining respect for the needs and rights of others. It is being able to communicate appropriately in a direct, open and honest way.
A lot of people hesitate to be assertive because they confuse being assertive with being aggressive. But the truth is, assertiveness and aggressiveness are two different things. Aggressiveness violates the rights of others; while assertiveness is a respectful communication of your own rights.
Being assertive empowers you to express yourself honestly to others–letting them know what you want or need from them. This may seem overpowering to many, but studies have shown that assertive and open communication can actually help build strong, respectful and supportive relationships as it creates an atmosphere of trust and goodwill.
The Link Between Assertiveness and Confidence
There is a very strong link between assertiveness and self confidence. How you see yourself is closely related to how you present yourself and vice versa. If you know how to be assertive and confident you are likely to find success and as well as find more meaningful relationships.
Being assertive can be difficult for many people, for many different reasons. But if you really want to develop assertiveness and confidence, there are so many ways you can do so.
What You Should Do To Develop Assertiveness and Confidence
1. Recognize yourself as an equal with others.
Often, we undermine ourselves and let our negative thoughts make us feel that we are not as good, smart or as strong as some of the people around us. Often, we think too highly of others and too low of ourselves. Thus, we end up respecting the rights of others more than our own rights. The first step towards becoming more assertive is recognizing that you and your rights are as important as everyone else’s.
2. Be honest with yourself.
Make sure that you honestly yet tactfully express what you think and how you feel about things. If you have been used to repress your thoughts and feelings to avoid disagreement, then you should practice to acknowledge and express them from now on. You must make clear and direct statements of your need, your thoughts and your feelings. If you don’t voice out what is inside you, others will never know what you want and you end up settling for whatever it is that others have decided for you.
3. Learn to say ‘NO.’
An important part of learning how to be assertive is learning how to say no. The inability to refuse the requests of others is very common in people who lack assertiveness and confidence. This usually stems out from the fact that most a lot of us think that we have to meet the expectations of everyone that it is very hard for us to set limits with others. But this practice or habit is very damaging to our self worth. So if there are requests that you do not feel like doing, learn to say a simple and direct NO.
Learning how to be assertive is a prerequisite for a happy and fulfilled life. If you remain to be passive and allow the needs, opinions or judgment of others become more important than your own, you are likely going to end up being taken advantage of, hurt, anxious and angry.