“ Be authentic and direct it will lead you down the path of being more Assertive. ” – JB Glossinger
In today’s world a lot of people have issues being assertive. In this article, we’ll discuss tips on being assertive, but not being a jerk. There are ways to get your way, and we will discuss a few secrets to positive assertiveness here.
What Is Assertiveness?
Assertiveness means that we are able to express the positive and negative emotions from things that are happening in our life. When we are assertive, we are able to express that to whoever we need to express those feelings to. Assertiveness helps us talk to people that we love, to our co-workers, our boss… to whoever we need to talk to. Expressing our authentic self helps us to get what we want.
What Do You Want?
First, you have to know what you really want from the situation. What you really want is going to dictate your tone. Sometimes you have to take a little bit of a loss to get what you want.
Is it important to “be right”? Would you rather be right, or happy? It’s usually better to get what you want than to be “right” all of the time.
It’s important to know what we want, because that will help us make some smart choices. We want to build strong and solid relationships with people that really understand who we are and who can respect us.
Work With People Who Get You
We only want to work with those who value us. We can learn to care less about the opinions of those who don’t value us. Does it really matter what other people think? Do we really need to impress our critics if they are never going to support us? Why would we want to do anything with that type of person? We don’t need those negative people in our lives.
To get what we want, we want to work with people who get us. We have to be able to express ourselves positively and negatively. If we can’t do that, we’re never going to get what we want.
Tips for Assertive Communication
When we’re in front of people, what are some of the communication skills that we need to be able to make an emotional connection?
1) Make Eye Contact
Eye contact creates an intimate connection. If you’re wearing sun glasses take them off. If you wear glasses, you might even take them off if you really need to connect with someone. Really look at them, and appreciate their presence in your life.
Your eye angle is very important. This is true face-to-face, and on video. Don’t look down at the ground. Looking down means you’re being submissive. If you are below the viewer’s eye level, you’re also being submissive. If you’re above eye level, you are being aggressive, and looking down on them from a position of power. Looking over someone means you’re pushing power.
When we communicate at eye level, then we are connecting powerfully.
2) Strong “I” Statements
Normally when we want to create a relationship we don’t want to use “I” statements. In normal conversation, it is better to avoid talking about what we want all the time. We’ve all had that experience of being around someone who only seemed to talk about them self. Every sentence is “I, I, I”.
But when we need to be assertive, it’s important to make strong “I” statements like, “I want this”, “We need to do this”, or “This is how I feel”. When we are being assertive, that is the time to express our emotions and thoughts by using strong “I” statements.
We also need to practice listening carefully. If we’re not listening we’re not able to be assertive. We want to be able to make our point, and then make sure that they are getting our point. We do that by listening.
3) Be Emotionally Powerful
We want to be emotionally powerful and strong, but not out of control. Be passionate. Live by example. It’s the ability to walk into a room and hold the room with our posture and presence. We do that by speaking less, so when we do speak, people listen. If we talk all the time, people will tune us out.
4) Be Empathetic
Empathy is the ability to understand the experience of others as much as we can. We want to have compassion for the struggles that others are going through, just like we want others to have compassion for our struggles.
5) Set Boundaries
This is where most of us struggle. Many people fail to set or maintain our boundaries. We let people walk all over us, or we give too much, or we just don’t establish boundaries.
You set boundaries by being assertive. You simply say “Hey, you’re crossing the boundary.” People who care will respect us more when we put boundaries up. Those who don’t care about boundaries shouldn’t be in our lives. If our family crosses our boundaries, we can spend less time with them. We don’t want people who are drainers, or energy vampires.
It’s important to be able to to express ourselves properly to the people around us. We want to be able to get what we want by expressing ourselves clearly and kindly, but with authenticity. We want to be able to set the tone in the right way. Being able to do these things will help us get what we want.
Let’s set some boundaries and practice assertiveness today. Use strong “I” statements, make eye contact, stay emotionally strong and calm, listen, be empathetic but not weak, and focus on your internal power.
Related podcast: Monday (08/06): Season 12, Episode 3224
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