10 Steps to Developing Your Assertiveness
Before you start, it’s important to understand what being assertive means. Psychologists define assertiveness as being able to express yourself effectively and stand up for your point of view while respecting the rights and beliefs of others. The basis of assertiveness is mutual respect and honesty. Assertive communicators are straightforward and know how to set and maintain healthy boundaries. Their relationships value and promote trust.
If you’re serious about living an authentic life and succeeding in reaching your goals, learning to be assertive is crucial. Think about how you feel about your life right now. Are you satisfied with your personal and professional situation? Are you conflict avoidant? Do you worry about what other people think of you? If you’re not happy with where you are now, the good news is that assertiveness is a habit that can be learned just like any other. With practice and commitment, you can change your mindset and live a life more aligned with your true values and aspirations.
"Assertive communicators are straightforward and know how to set and maintain healthy boundaries. Their relationships value and promote trust." - Vince Morales
Try these tips for introducing a more assertive approach into your life:
Decide what your priorities are and stick to them.
Work out your individual boundaries.
Develop a positive open posture and look people in the eye when you speak to them.
Use positive ‘I’ statements about how you’re feeling instead of blaming or finding fault with the other person. Be especially wary of feeling tempted to say, ‘you always’ or ‘you never.’
Get comfortable with saying ‘no’ to things you don’t want to or can’t do. Keep it simple and non-emotive and don’t feel you need to add an excuse or explanation.