Last week, in Assertiveness and Self Esteem, I touched on assertiveness as a tool to build self-esteem. I believe there is much to learn and the benefits from this learning are wonderful. So today, I’m going to tell you how to be assertive.
Communication is an important part of everyone’s life and conflicts are inevitable. No two people react the same way to all situations. If you choose the aggressive approach, either physical or verbal, you risk the relationship, but if you choose the passive approach, you risk the relationship too.
An assertive approach from both parties can contribute a lot to the communication and the relationship between the two parties.
- Both people have a better chance of getting what they want
- Both People feel understood
- Both people feel respected
- Both people feel in control of their thoughts and feelings
- Both people enhance their self-esteem and their confidence
- Both people get a chance to express themselves
- Both people improve the relationship
32 steps to assertiveness
- Assess your reaction in conflicts. Are you aggressive, passive or assertive?
- In your mind, go over the past week and think of situations where assertiveness could help
- Aim to see the situation from the other person’s point of view
- Do not blame
- Become a problem solver – Think of fixing the problem rather than pretending to be right
- Practice assertiveness with people you feel comfortable with and not in the middle of a conflict
- Respect other people’s point of view, beliefs, ideas, thoughts and feelings
- Be honest
- Remember that the other person has the right to feel, think and believe in different things. The number of people thinking like you means nothing about you
- If you feel uncomfortable, say it: “I feel uncomfortable”
- Do not play the guilt game
- When things get heated, go back to the original point
- Do not interrupt others when they speak
- Be a listener
- Ask clarifying questions – “What do you think about it?”
- Suggest to find a solution together
- Do not use the expressions “you always” and “you never”
- Start with “I” – I feel, I think, I hope, I believe
- Learn to say “no”
- Use the words ” I understand”
- Use the words ” I appreciate your suggestion and I will consider it”
- Do not swear
- Do not call the other person names
- Avoid the history lessons of the conflict “you did that, I did that” and keep moving forward
- If the other person is aggressive, say “Let’s talk about this again when we are both calm”
- Do not make important decisions when feeling like that
- Remember that the communication must be equal. Do not blame the other for feeling inferior
- Surround yourself with assertive people. There is much less conflicts around them
- Respect is not something someone gives you. It is something you earn
- If the other person is pushing you too hard, say “I need to think about it”
- If the other person is pushing you to do something you do not feel comfortable with, you can buy “thinking time” by saying “I need to check my calendar”, “I need to check with my partner” or “I think I have plans for that day, so I’ll get back to you on this”
- If you know you are going into a confronting situation, practice what you want to say beforehand
If you have not had a chance to read the previous chapters of the Self Esteem Mini course, click on the links below to read each of them.
In the next chapter of our Self Esteem Mini Course, I will reveal the beliefs of assertive people. Come next week or subscribe via RSS or email. Until then, be happy!
This post is part of the series Self Esteem Mini-Course:
- What Is Self Esteem?
- How School Promotes Low Self Esteem
- Beliefs and Where They Come From
- Social Identity
- Service Your Self-Esteem
- Your Self-Esteem Checklist
- How to Get Rid of Doubts
- Assertiveness and Self Esteem
- How to Be Assertive
- Beliefs of Assertive People
- Self Esteem Mini-Course (11): Ronit Baras’ Success Experience Theory
- Self Esteem Mini-Course (12): Ms Self Esteem has an Identity Crisis
- Self Esteem Mini-Course (13): Conflict Resolution
- Self Esteem Mini-Course (14): Watch Your language or Lose Your Kids’ Trust
- Self Esteem Mini-Course (15): War between Two Minds
- Self Esteem Mini-Course (16): What if
- Self Esteem Mini-Course (17): What do I Think?
- Self Esteem Mini-Course (18): What?
- Self Esteem Mini Course (19): Damaging Kids’ Self Esteem
- Self Esteem Mini Course (20): Boosting Kids’ Self Esteem