Assertiveness is one of those things that some people seem to be naturally good at, while others simply aren’t. If you’re not, people can tell you to “just be more assertive” till they’re blue in the face, but it won’t help. Why? Because they’re not telling you how to go about it!
Once you find out specific things you can do to help you make the change to greater assertiveness, and then practice them, you’ll find it easier and easier to be bold and assert yourself in social situations.
There are many different character traits that can contribute to assertiveness. You can work on strengthening any one of them or a few of them if you feel that you’re lacking in any categories.
Some people believe that people are just the way they are and it should just be accepted. It’s true to a certain extent, but you’d be surprised by how much you can change when you’re truly dedicated. If you want to be more assertive, you can be, regardless of others’ opinions.
Use these strategies to help yourself become more assertive:
1. Believe in yourself. Self-confidence and believing in yourself are very important traits. Strengthening your confidence in yourself and your abilities can bring you greater assertiveness too.
• A good way to start building your self-confidence is by reflecting on your talents and skills. Write them down. You may be surprised at the length of your list! Feel good about these gifts and do what you can to further develop them.
2. Learn how to deal with your frustrations. If you keep everything bottled inside, you might end up exploding in someone’s face. People won’t see this as assertiveness; more likely, they’ll see it as arrogance or aggression. When you’re frustrated, voice your opinion as soon as you can while the situation is at hand and work out your differences together.
3. Be calm and clear. Staying calm and talking clearly will convey assertiveness and self-confidence in social situations. It’s a great rule to remember if you’re ever feeling negatively in a situation. Remember to tell yourself to be calm first and then concentrate on your clarity.
4. Overcome your fears. Fears might be holding you back from being assertive. You may even fear being in social situations. Face your fears head on by placing yourself in situations you fear. Start with smaller manifestations of your fears and move up to larger ones step by step.
5. Express your needs. It might be hard to break out of your shell the first time, but eventually people will listen to what you have to say. Let them get used to the fact that you’re speaking up and showing that you have wants, needs, and desires just like anyone else.
6. Pay attention to body language. Give extra attention to your body language when you practice being assertive. People will know that it’s a front if your shoulders are hunched or your arms are crossed. You might even have a nervous tick. Open up your shoulders and relax your body before you begin speaking.
While developing your assertiveness, give yourself time to achieve change. Be patient and strong. It might be tough at first, but you’ll get the hang of it the more you practice these strategies. Soon, assertiveness will come naturally to you!