How Can I Become More Assertive?

Theresa writes...

"I am tired of getting walked all over. I need to stand up for myself and be more assertive. What do I do? Help!"

0 0 0 0 0 0
Replies (10)
    • Great question.

      First, here is a fast and simple 10 question quiz to test your level of assertiveness (or lack thereof).

      1. Do you say yes even when you do not want to do something? For example, are you the mom who always volunteers even when you know you do not have time to make three dozen cupcakes? Do you then stay up all night even though you are bone tired making said cupcakes all the while feeling resentful of the other moms who said no and cursing them under your frosting laden breath?

      2. Are you indecisive? Do you get to the point where weighing the pros and cons of a particular situation goes overboard and you just give up? When you make decisions do you find yourself considering every possible option and how it will effect everyone except you?

      3. Do you feel guilty when you ask others for help? Alternately do you expect others to just do things for you that you could easily do yourself and get angry with them if they refuse?

      4. When you are shopping do you find yourself getting sucked in to a sales pitch to the point where you feel guilty walking away without making a purchase? Even if you can not afford or do not want a particular item do you buy it just so the salesman will leave you alone?

      5. What is your reaction if someone cuts you off in traffic or in front of you in line? Do you blow up and yell, curse, or make rude gestures to them? Do you back off and turn your anger at them inward instead?

      6. If someone disagrees with you do you make fun of them? Do you assume that they are crazy or uneducated because their opinion is different from yours?

      7. When you make mistakes do you admit them? If you do not admit them is it because you are embarrassed or because you refuse to admit that you were wrong about something?
      8. In your social circle are you the always the one who make plans or are you always following along whether the group is doing something you enjoy or not?

      9. When you must talk to people in authority positions do you feel nervous or anxious?

      10. When you receive a compliment does it make you feel proud or embarrassed? How do you feel about giving someone a compliment?

      The answers to these questions will give you helpful insight on both yourself and your assertiveness.

      Now onto some helpful tips and suggestions on how to be more assertive.

      Be more assertive and solve your problem, click here.

      0 0 0 0 0 0
      • 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.
        0 0 0 0 0 0
        • 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.

          0 0 0 0 0 0
          • 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.

            0 0 0 0 0 0
            • Overcome shyness.

              Shyness can range from healthy to overwhelming and debilitating. Shyness is not the same as having low self-esteem. Many shy people have a very positive image of themselves, but they lack assertiveness and confidence. If you're shy, you can practice these techniques to overcome your shyness:

              • Visualization. Positively visualize situations and circumstances before experiencing them. This will give you a better "what if" scenario, and help you be better prepared for any variation.
              • Practice speaking. People who are shy often dislike the sound of their own voices. Practicing speeches in front of a mirror or with trusted friends will help you gain the confidence you need.
              • Reinforce the positive. This is a way of thinking yourself out of being shy. By using affirmations to assert your positive characteristics, you can convince yourself that you are brilliant and worthy of great things. After all, sometimes the hardest person to convince is you!
              0 0 0 0 0 0
              • Speak up.

                Speak with confidence even if you don't feel confident. Practice speaking this way. The more you practice the more it will become second nature.

                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.

                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.

                0 0 0 0 0 0
                • Model your behavior after people you admire.

                  Chances are the people you admire have the assertiveness and confidence you're looking for in your own life.

                  • Observe how they do things.
                  • Pay attention to what they say and how they say it.
                  • Watch their body language.

                  Studying people who have the traits you crave is one of the best ways to create those very same traits in yourself.

                  0 0 0 0 0 0
                  • Become informed.

                    One of the best methods of being assertive and confident is to know your subject matter. No matter what the situation is, the more you know, the more confident you'll be.

                    • It doesn't matter if it's a job interview or a presentation to your peers, knowing what you're speaking about will give you that aura of confidence you desire.
                    • Be prepared for potential questions on your subject matter. A good idea is to have a trusted coworker help you identify common questions and answers. You will gain confidence in front of others when you first brainstorm and practice with someone you are comfortable with.
                    0 0 0 0 0 0
                    • Remember the difference between being aggressive and assertive.

                      People respond better to an assertive person rather than an aggressive person.

                      • Aggressive people are seen as bullies who approach a problem with harsh criticism. They would say someone is doing a project "all wrong," for example.

                      • An assertive person, on the other hand, approaches the same situation with concerns and ideas to improve the project.

                      • Your goal should be to approach people with positive attitudes and solutions to problems. If you respect others and treat them as you want to be treated, you'll have the same courtesy returned to you.
                      0 0 0 0 0 0
                      • Pay attention to your 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.

                        0 0 0 0 0 0
                        Please login to 'Comment'.
                        • 2604
                        I, Jeff Cohen, Founder of SolveYourProblem, select high-qualityhand-picked products for which I earn a commission. Links which help you to solve your problem reflect this. I hope this demonstrates my intent to run an honest and reputable website. Have a great day!