As you seek success in your business, love life, or any other venture, it helps to take stock of your level of self-assertiveness. Assertiveness is the ability to honestly express yourself without undue self-doubt or anxiety.
If others think they can walk all over you, they tend to view you in a negative light. While some are born assertive, for others self-assertiveness is a cultivated skill.
Learn how to become more self-assertive by following these steps:
1. Identify your boundaries. The very first step to mastering self-assertiveness is figuring out where to draw the line. How much abuse are you willing to take?
• Be honest with yourself and avoid letting self-doubt stop you from defining new boundaries.
• Start by writing down where you draw the line in various situations, and pay attention to your internal reactions. Recall past situations in which you let someone go too far. How did you feel? At what point could you have put your foot down?
• Research has shown that when you externalize your thought process by writing things down, you’ll have a better chance of making a lasting impact on your future behavior.
2. Forgive wisely. Although the ability to forgive is important for your well-being, it’s possible to go too far.
• If you continually forgive someone for their bad behavior, they’re more likely to offend again. Parasitic personalities, when they realize they can hurt you with impunity, will do so.
• One way you can empower yourself is to cut ties with the toxic individuals in your life. While the split may be painful initially, you’ll likely blossom once you’re free of their influence.
• With your newfound self-esteem and confidence, you’ll attract individuals who will treat you with the respect you deserve.
3. Think strategically. As you build up your self-assertiveness, you’ll need a strategy to deal with individuals who overstep your boundaries.
• Assertiveness requires a clear and calm discourse, rather than a verbal shouting match. Generally, the calmer you are when you engage the offender, the more effective your conversation will be.
• Even extremely intelligent people can be totally ignorant about how their behavior affects others. This isn’t meant to give these individuals an excuse. However, it’s possible that if you haven’t asserted yourself previously, the person overstepping their bounds may be unaware of how their behavior comes across.
• The acronym ASSA represents an effective strategy to keep the conversation on topic and to the point:
– Alert the person that you would like to speak with them.
– State your grievance clearly and calmly.
– Sell the benefits of them altering their behavior.
– Agree that they’ll do things differently in the future.
• If you find yourself slipping at any point, bring yourself back to the last main point of the conversation before it veered.
4. Remain calm. You may find that when you confront someone about their behavior, they become defensive. Do your best to remain calm.
• The individual may feel as if they’re under attack, especially if you haven’t taken them to task before. In this situation, your opponent will likely try to derail you by changing the subject. Avoid allowing this to happen.
5. Use honesty as a tool. Honesty is essential to healthy relationships, and you can use it as a tool to reinforce your boundaries.
Set clear boundaries and let others know that you’re not a pushover. You’ll likely find that becoming assertive will change your life. Once you’ve reclaimed your power, avoid letting anyone encroach on your domain ever again.