Have you ever felt that sometime and somewhere in your life time you deserve more than what you get? And have you ever wondered why some people always seem to get what they want, and sometime even much more than their share? How do they do it?
The answer is : they know how to ASSERT themselves.
WHAT IS ASSERTIVENESS?
Being assertive is the ability to stand up for yourself – without having to step on anyone else’s toes! It is the ability to express yourself in a manner that is clear, direct, specific, and considerate. It means saying what you mean and meaning what you say… confidently, consistently and persistently.
Being assertive is an in-between of being passive and aggressive. Passive people are often “shy” or reluctant to express their real feelings or interests. On the other hand, aggressive people do not have this problem, as they are usually “inconsiderate” towards others. In short, assertiveness is neither passivity nor aggression.
WHY IT MATTERS TO BE ASSERTIVE?
Assertive people express their feelings honestly and without guilt. They take responsibility for their feelings – for what they say or do. They don’t make or give excuses. With or without the support of others, they stand up for themselves and exercise their rights, while at the same time respecting others.
Assertive people have positive self-esteem. They like and value themselves. They are in control of their lives. Their relationships with others are usually more meaningful and fulfilling because they communicate openly with mutual respect.
Assertive people can look a person in the eye and speak in a firm yet non-threatening tone. They will not allow others to take advantage of them.
Assertiveness allows you to ask for what you want, say “no” when you want to, and get what you want out of life. It will help you socially, as people will respond to you more positively. It helps you to communicate more effectively both on and off the job – with family, friends and colleagues.
Assertiveness is a sign of a healthy, confident and well-adjusted personality. But in reality, assertive people are a rare breed. Studies showed that only 5 to 20 percent of the population is assertive.
People are not born assertive. But like other critical life skill, assertiveness is a strategy that can be nurtured or learned.
HOW TO BECOME MORE ASSERTIVE?
The first step is by eliminating all unassertive behaviors, gestures as well as speech patterns. Passive behaviors such as avoiding eye contact, slouching, speaking too softly, being indecisive, or minimizing the importance of your own needs and wants, should be thrown out of the window!
Weak gestures such as scratching, or putting hands in your pockets suggest a passive personality. Avoid giving frequent justifications or apologies, rambling and putting yourself down.
So do you think you are assertive enough to get what you want and be successful in life?