So far, I have covered things that affect our ability to be assertive. This post adds some tips on how to know your rights, keep them and be assertive about them. I hope they will help you on your quest to develop your emotional intelligence and communicate with assertiveness.
When you are assertive, you express yourself with confidence without hurting others. You are firm, not a bully. You are clear, not manipulative. You are honest, not aggressive. Healthy communication is based on honesty, clarity and confidence.
First, you have to know your rights in every communication. It takes two to tango and when one has more rights than the other does, this will not be an assertive relationship. I suggest teaching kids these rights too and giving them opportunities to practice them.
Whenever you feel another person is not accepting your rights, the communication with this person is only going to damage your confidence and self worth.
Stay away from people who to do not accept equal rights!
Your declaration of rights
- I have the right to my own thinking, feelings and beliefs.
- I have the right to be myself.
- I have the right to follow my own dreams.
- I have the right to express my feelings, thoughts and opinions without justifying myself. As long as I am not judging, mocking, criticizing or complaining about others, it is assertive.
- I have the right to make mistakes without being judged.
- I have the right to think highly of myself, as long as I do not say bad things about others.
- I have the right to think differently.
- I have the right to be treated with respect. I treat others with respect, even if they don’t, and I do not let them drag me into aggressive communication.
- I have the right to take care of my own interests before others’.
- I have the right to ask for help and advice.
- I have the right not to accept help and advice.
- I have the right to say “no”.
- I have the right to say “yes”.
- I have the right to do what I think is right and learn from my own mistakes without having to please anyone else, be “normal” or meet social standards.
- I have the right not to feel guilty and ashamed just because someone else thinks I should.
- I have the right to change my mind.
- I have the right to say, “I don’t understand”, “I don’t want to” and “I can’t”.
- I have the right to be proud of myself.
- I have the right to trust my instincts.
- When I don’t know, I have the right to say, “I don’t know”, without feeling bad about it.
- I have the right to be independent and make my own decisions.
- I have the right to choose my hobbies, profession and relationships.
- I have the right to determine my own values and priorities.
- I have the right to manage my own time.
How to practice your rights
My suggestion is to keep this list and go over it from time to time. The more you understand your emotional rights, the more assertive you will be. The more assertive your communication is, the better your life will be.
It is possible to use only three or four items from this list to build your confidence and change your life dramatically. Pick an item and work on it until it is easy for you to do. Once you achieve that, move on to the next one.
Join me next week for a summary with more than 50 tips on being assertive in your communication.