While some people are naturally more assertive, others are naturally more submissive. In today’s world, choosing to be more assertive can help you be more successful.
Assertive people tend to be better communicators. They have a better chance of ultimately getting what they want. They are more satisfied with their lives and get more respect from their peers and superiors, too.
However, if you are naturally submissive, learning how to be more assertive can be tough. You’ll probably think:
· I don’t want to sound like a jerk.
· I don’t like confrontation.
· It’s easier for other people.
· It’s just not who I am.
But, there’s a lot on the line when it comes to being assertive. So, don’t associate being assertive with being a jerk and don’t convince yourself that it’s only something “other people” can do.
You can make yourself more assertive and do so without coming off as disrespectful or insensitive. Here are some strategies to help you out.
The fastest way to look like a jerk is to disrespect someone.
No matter how assertive you want to be or what situations you find yourself in, you must create a foundation of respect if you want to succeed.
For example, you need to learn how to make assertive statements at the proper time and place to avoid embarrassing or undermining anyone. You have to know how to listen carefully to other opinions before expressing yours. In addition to that, you also have to keep a professional and cordial tone.
These are just the basics. At this point in your career, you should already have a solid knowledge of the things that show respect.
See Also: 10 Ways To Earn the Respect of Others
2Take baby steps
You don’t have to go from being fully passive to fully assertive overnight. You don’t even have to challenge yourself with big events, such as asking for a promotion, right away.
Instead, start with little things until you feel more comfortable expressing yourself.
For example, you could let your co-workers know that you’d like them to brew a fresh pot of coffee if they take the last of the old one. This is going to ease you into being more assertive while helping your co-workers recognize the more assertive version of you.
3Think through your words carefully
Being assertive means being a clearer communicator, too.
It’s impossible to be assertive when you’re rambling about things. Try to be as logical and precise as possible when you express your ideas and needs. If necessary, take a moment to think through what you’re going to say before you actually say it.
This will help you collect your thoughts, filter out the points you really want to get across and make you feel more confident about expressing them.
4Remove the niceties
In our society, we’ve adopted a number of social niceties to mask our real intentions. For example, you’ll often encounter phrases like “When you have time, I was wondering if you could help me with…” instead of “Please help me with…”
The former may seem more polite, but the latter is clearer, more direct, and probably more respectable, too. People appreciate straightforwardness and are more likely to feel manipulated if you stuff your speech full of unnecessary niceties.
Say what you mean and mean what you say. It will become more comfortable in time.
This should be obvious, but it’s a shame how many people ignore this key element of being assertive. Assertiveness is about making your thoughts and feelings known and asking for things you need directly.
Trying to be more persuasive or seem nicer by making up lies or bending the truth are strategies that won’t work. If you want people to respect you and if you want to become more effective in your delivery, you need to speak from the heart. Again, this will become more comfortable in time.
6Remain open to negotiation and disagreement
You can’t always get what you want. No matter how assertive you are or how successful you’ve become, you’re going to face disagreement, resistance, and flat-out rejection.
You have to be prepared for this or you’ll lose face and become intimidated the next time you encounter the same situation. You need to open yourself up to the possibility of negotiation and compromise.
Being assertive isn’t just about “getting your own way”. It also involves being more open to further communication which can help you get closer to what you really want.
Being assertive without being a jerk boils down to being respectful of others and being in control of your actions. There’s a fine line between assertiveness and arrogance. As long as you know where that line is, you’ll know how to be more assertive without offending anyone.