Becoming more assertive takes time, but there are a number of things you can do to start today. Being assertive is a skill that most people do not have. Generally, most of them commit the mistake of being either too aggressive or too passive.
Being assertive requires you to be a nice mixture of the two. While developing this critical skill will take time and patience, there are a number of things you can do to start becoming more assertive today. The first step in becoming more assertive is to be clear and concise when it comes to communicating with others. This skill requires you to become good at telling people exactly how you feel, regardless of what they think.
Those who are poor communicators tend to be poor when it comes to being assertive. The reason for this is simply because those who can’t communicate effectively tend to send the wrong signals to others. When you send the wrong signals to others, you should not be surprised when they are are disagreements and misunderstandings.
For example, a husband who is a poor communicator might tell his wife to pick up some butter before she comes home from work. Once she gets home with the butter, the husband reveals that the brand she purchased is not the right one.
This is a classic example of poor communication, and it is this type of communication lapse that leads to disagreements and arguments. A husband who is assertive would have been clear when it came to the type of butter he wanted. Instead of saying "get some butter," he would have told his wife to get a specific brand of butter.
The first step in being a more assertive person is to always be clear about what you want. Never expect people to assume that they know what you want. The second step towards being more assertive is to become a good listener.
Being a Good Listener
People who are not assertive tend to be poor when it comes to listening to others. When they talk with others, they rarely give their undivided attention, and they often let the words spoken to them go "into one ear and out the other."
You can generally tell whether or not someone is listening to you by asking them to repeat something you just said. Someone who is not listening will often be revealed because they won’t be able to remember what you said, and this annoys almost everyone because it means they wasted their time talking with you.
When you’re a good listener, you will be more assertive with others simply because you will understand what is being said. Also, when you communicate with people, and you want them to do something, it is better to start off by saying "I feel" as opposed to "you must."
People do not like feeling like they are being told what to do. There are few things more irritating than this. The words that you use when talking with others is critically important, and if you use the wrong words, you will push others away as opposed to getting them to agree with your point of view.
By saying you feel a certain way about something, you make it a lot easier for people to see your way of thinking, and they will tend to be more receptive to your ideas. Another important part of being assertive is to acknowledge where you are wrong and when you are made mistakes.
Many times, people will create feelings of anger in each other, and this can happen either over an extended period of time, or it can happen quickly. While it is easy to blame others, explaining your part in the situation can be very useful in diffusing things.
Assertiveness requires you to give and take. Passive people tend to give too much, and aggressive people tend to take too much. But assertive people understand that any relationship is based on give and take. You must be able to give a little if you want to get a little. Those who try to take too much, or who give to much, tend to be the big losers in the long run.