Assertiveness Techniques

Assertiveness techniques can help you to learn to stand up for yourself and take charge of things. An assertive person is able to express their feelings straightforward and is confident in his abilities and has a healthy sense of self-esteem

Lack Of Assertiveness

People who lack assertiveness are often taken advantage of, they give in to unreasonable demands, feel helpless and allow others to make choices for them.

It is often easy to recognize non-assertive people just by looking at their body language. They tend to avoid eye-contact, and often insecurely shift their weight from one foot to another when standing. They also have a tendency to talk hesitantly and timid, rather than confident.

Aggression vs. Assertiveness

A lot of people mistake aggressiveness for assertiveness. Sure, aggressive people might force other people to get things their way, but they do so at a high cost, often damaging the long-term relationships with other people that could later be beneficial to them.

Aggression is what people who lack assertiveness use if they desperately want something. It is not a strength, but a weakness, and aggressive people will not be able to coerce assertive people.

Assertiveness Techniques

There are many techniques that can help you to be more assertive. One of the most basic ones is to simply keep eye contact with other people when you talk with them. Look them straight and confidently into their eyes.

When you want something, ask for it directly, instead of making indirect requests, hoping that they will decipher your coded message and give you what you want.

Also, practice denying other people’s requests. Learn to say “No!”. Realize that when you say no, it is not directed against the person that is making a request from you, but simply a statement that you are not willing or able to do this task for them.

If just saying no seems to harsh for you, you might want to explain why. Give the person a reason why you won’t do something for them, so that they understand you – but realize there is a difference between giving reasons and giving excuses. You do not need to make an excuse, you do not own them the favor they requested for you.

Make sure that you use body language to your advantage. There are studies that have shown that 93% of all communication is nonverbal (body language + tone of voice). Only 7% of what you actually communicate are the words that you use. So improve your body language, stand straight. It might be a good idea to get a book on body language or just watch some movies in which there are confident characters, see how they move and hold themselves and practice their body language in front of a mirror.

Also, as an assertive person, you must be able to address conflicts confidently and comfortably. So practice bringing topics up that might not be pleasant – this will help you to become more comfortable with resolving conflicts productively.

There are also “inner techniques” to become more assertive. For example, it is important that you realize that you have the right to make requests just like everyone else. You must realize your own importance and worth before you can expect other people to realize it.

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