How to Be More Assertive – Without Being Rude
Do you lack confidence and find it difficult to speak up? Do you hang back in situations to avoid standing out or agree with others just to keep the peace? If so then you may need to get some help to learn how to be more assertive. Assertiveness is a positive personality trait as it allows you to get things done more efficiently, get your point across and take charge in a non-aggressive manner. People who are more assertive are more likely to get ahead at work and have better relationships because other people are able to see their worth rather than walk all over them.
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When you use assertiveness communication skills you are striking a balance between being too passive vs aggressive. Sitting in the middle you are able to get your point across whilst feeling confident, strong and self-assured. Being assertive is not a negative trait because even though you know what you want you involve others in your decisions. Instead of being pushy, domineering or bullying you make others feel valued and heard.
If you are an assertive communicator you are far more likely to do well at work. This is because you are able to show off your skill and knowledge rather than hiding your talent. You are also going to be considerably more efficient at getting the job done which is more cost-effective.
Assertive communication is also going to be great for your relationships. Instead of putting up with things and staying silent, you are able to put across your likes and dislikes which will make you happier in the longer term.
If you are a passive communicator you are far less likely to express your opinions and tell others what you want. In fact, to avoid conflict you are likely to put up with things that you actively dislike. You may find it difficult to say no even though you are not enjoying what you are doing and have low-confidence and self-esteem.
You may be also using passive communication in your body language. Whereas an assertive person maintains eye contact, stands up tall and is open a passive person does the complete opposite. That means eyes down, slumped posture and hiding in plain sight. This means you are more likely to be overlooked or ignored.
Assertiveness Techniques and Exercises
So what can you do to help yourself become more assertive? Well here are 8 areas that you could look at to help you learn how to be more assertive at work and in your relationships.
Identify Your Areas of Weakness
Start by using a journal to identify the areas where you may have a problem. Some of you may lack assertive traits in every part of your life whilst others may find it difficult only in certain situations. The key is to start to identify the areas which need to be worked on. A journal helps you to look at the situations where problems are occurring to see if there are any recurring patterns or triggers for your problem. When you can see the places that you need to address it becomes easier to put strategies into place.
If you feel that your lack of assertiveness is appearing almost everywhere do not worry. Issues such as social anxiety can prevent people from interacting well with others. This is a learned behaviour, not something that you were born with. This means with some self-help assertiveness techniques and exercises it is possible to make some changes.
Work at changing your body language. When your body language is open and you begin to own the space that you are in you feel more confident and in control.
Some easy ways to do this are by mirroring what others are doing. Look at what other confident people are doing when they interact with others and start to mimic their actions. Just make sure you stay relaxed rather than making your movements look forced.
In addition, start to make eye contact with everyone you meet and smile when you greet them. Stand up tall, maintain an upright posture and try not to fidget to show your neves. If you are still having difficultly consider drama classes or learning the Alexander Technique which helps with your posture.
Practice Positive Thinking
If you think that your words are not worth listening to or that you are not good enough then you are going to experience problems learning how to be more assertive. What is going on in your mind is just as important as your body language.
Learn to start practising positive self-talk to boost your self-worth. Positive thinking, when used regularly, can start to drown out the negative voice in your head. We give our clients a self-hypnosis for positive thinking download to listen to daily to change subconscious thought patterns and improve their mindset. You can purchase this download in our online store.
Mental Rehearsal and Visualisation
If it feels too difficult to start off making the changes in real-life start by practising them in your mind. We use hypnosis to help our clients immerse themselves in experiences mentally before they try them in their normal lives. When you mentally rehearse doing things differently it becomes so much easier to do them in normal circumstances.
This is a technique that major sports stars use to get ahead of their competitors. When they mentally rehearse running faster, hitting that ball harder or feeling confident in front of thousands of people it gives them the edge. By the time they come to a competition they have practised the situation so many times in their minds that there is less fear or worry. You can use the same tactics to be more assertive.
Whilst practising something in your mind is a great start it is important to start to expose yourself to the things that you fear or dislike. Exposure therapy is the number one way that we help our clients to overcome fears or phobias and it can work just as well when you want to learn how to be more assertive.
When you are exposing yourself to the things that make you worry or hang back start with the issues that are the least upsetting first and then work your way up the hierarchy.
An example of that might be worrying about speaking up in meetings. Start by attending every meeting you can and practising your positive body language. When you feel happy doing that ask one simple question that you know is non-controversial and has a simple answer. Then work your way up to making more of an impact. Each time you confront your fears without problems your confidence will grow.
Self-Hypnosis for Confidence
Learn how to be more assertive by using self-hypnosis for confidence. Building your confidence and self-esteem is a crucial assertive technique. When you are feeling more confident about yourself and what you do you are more self-assured and find it easier to make decisions and stand your ground.
Confidence is another skill that can be learned. We are not born shy. Something or someone came along to knock your confidence and make you doubt yourself. You still have that inner confidence that you were born with only it has been masked behind worry and self-doubt. Learn self-hypnosis to grow your confidence and to help you start making changes to what you do. The amazing thing about confidence is that there is a snowball effect when you start to practice. The more you do things without fear the stronger your confidence gets.
Learn Social Skills
In order to be more assertive, you will need to up your game when it comes to social skills. You need to learn to mix with others and hold your own in conversations and you can’t do that hiding away trying to avoid eye contact.
Start to say yes to gatherings, informal soirees, parties and anywhere there are get-togethers of people. Walk into the room and just introduce yourself to a few people and start making some small talk. Remember you don’t have to be the most interesting person in the room. Talk about the weather, something non-controversial in the news or even about the event. If you are not feeling the vibe you can always make your excuses and move on to talk to someone else.
If it feels too much to do this at a work even try and find some social clubs that appeal to your interests and visit those. This is another form of exposure therapy and it works well at building confidence and your ability to chat to others without worry or fear. When you feel happier mixing with people you know and like it can be easier to move forward and interact with other groups.
Learning how to be more assertive sometimes means going a little deeper especially if you feel that you suffer from anxiety. Anxiety is behind many problems relating to assertiveness and it needs to be addressed. Sef-help methods such as our online course to manage anxiety can be incredibly helpful. Alternatively consider working with a therapist to get to the underlying reasons for your problem.
Social anxiety disorder which is a fear of embarrassing yourself or being judged by others can be one area that could be explored. There are also fears such as worries about failure or a fear of not being good enough which can make you fear speaking up. Therapists are experts when it comes to addressing underlying causes related to anxiety and making positive changes.
Assertiveness Training and Therapy
If you are looking for help to learn how to be more assertive, build your confidence and take control in situations then we can help. We work with our clients to help them adjust their mindset and learn to be comfortable saying what it is on their minds without being rude or aggressive. For more details of our programs simply fill out the form below to get more information on our online sessions.
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