Being assertive is a skill that comes naturally to some but not to all. Typically you will find that society teaches women to be less assertive than men. Sometimes you need to teach yourself to be more assertive and sometimes you need to teach yourself to be less assertive.
Being assertive is a trait and skill that can get you far in life when balanced evenly. However, if not kept in check, assertiveness can come across as abrasive, rude, or even mean or aggressive.
What does it mean to be assertive?
According to The Better Health Channel, “Being assertive means being direct about what you need, want, feel, or believe in a way that’s respectful of the views of others.” Allowing yourself to be more assertive can be a powerful tool to help you move forward in life.
For example, when you’re more assertive in the workplace, you show your superiors that you have the qualities required of a leader and the confidence necessary to go for what you need or want.
In your personal life, assertiveness can give you the confidence to ask someone out in the first place. Secondarily, assertiveness allows you to identify and be clear about what you want and need in the relationship, improving communication between you and your partner and ensuring the healthy state of your relationship.
So, what can you do to be more assertive?
It’s not enough just to think about maybe trying to be more assertive in situations like you think about how you really should work out more while you’re eating dessert. You have to commit to it. You have to make the decision to positively assert your views and yourself and commit to it.
Intentionally aim to improve your communication and listening skills. These two skills are crucial in assertiveness. You need to communicate openly and honestly with respect to those with whom your speaking. In addition to that, you have to become an active listener. Being an active listener means paying close attention and internalizing what people say to you.
How can you keep your assertiveness in check?
There’s a fine line between positive assertiveness and abrasive rudeness. A good way to keep yourself in check and ensure you aren’t toeing that line is to be observant, not just of yourself but of those around you.
Take time throughout your day to reflect on yourself, your behavior, and your choices. It is as simple as watching how others behave around you. If your loved ones seem uncomfortable with your behavior or put off by your attitude, you should examine your assertiveness and maybe make some adjustments.
Assertiveness can lead to promotions, healthier relationships, and a more positive self-image. So, take the time to find the balance of assertiveness in your life that will lead you to success.