When we speak of assertiveness we are referring to the ability to express feelings without hurting others . It is not always easy to identify when a behavior is truly assertive. This is because there is a fine line between assertiveness and aggression, people can often confuse the two. For this reason, it is useful to define the two behaviors so that we can clearly separate them and thus learn to be more assertive:
– Assertiveness is based on balance. You are open with your own wants and needs, while considering the rights, needs, and desires of others. When you are assertive, you are sure of yourself, you take the power of the conversation to express your point of view firmly, fair and with empathy.
– Aggressive behavior only focuses on winning. In this behavior the person does whatever it takes to win, regardless of the rights, needs, feelings or wishes of other people. When you are aggressive or even abusive, you take what you want without asking.
Why Some People Are Not Assertive
There are some people who are assertive and others who are not. Why is this happening? There are many factors that can contribute. Stress is one of these factors. When a person feels stress, they will feel like they must fight or flee and this makes a person aggressive or avoidant. This is far from assertive that is calm and relaxed.
A person’s belief system is also important. There are people who think that being nice means agreeing with others, and being assertive is impractical. These positions are not realistic since assertiveness is necessary for another person to capture the attention of your words, when there is aggressiveness there is only emotional blockage and it is difficult to reach agreements that benefit both parties.
People with low self-esteem may feel incapable and find it difficult to show their will, so not being assertive seems to them a functional way. Other people may fear conflict in any way. Assertiveness is a positive way to deal with conflict.
How to be assertive
If you want to be assertive but have never been before, you will need to be aware of this in order to start the change. It is important that you take into account what it means to be assertive to be able to be and above all, how you can make those changes in your life to achieve it. Being assertive will improve your internal communication and also communication with others.
Create an assertiveness mindset
You will first need to create an assertiveness mindset, so you will need to change your mindset. Get rid of any limiting or incorrect beliefs that are preventing you from being assertive.
You will have to establish limits and rules that direct others regarding the behavior that you consider permissible around you. Do not allow others to trespass on them. Think about the limits that others cannot exceed.
Take responsibility for your problems
An assertive person knows that their problems are their responsibility. If you see that you need to change something in your life, instead of not stopping complaining, what you will do is take action. Even if they are small measures? €? small changes achieve great things.
Don’t expect people to read your mind
Don’t expect others to know what your needs are without saying so. There is no telepathy so if you have a need or something bothers you, you will have to say it so that others will know.
You are not responsible for the behavior of others
Someone else’s behavior is not your problem and not everyone has to think or act like you do. You do not have to exert physical, mental or emotional force to impose your will, that is aggressiveness. Recognize that you should not worry about the behavior of others, you are only responsible for your behavior and your feelings.
Assertiveness takes time, and you should practice it every day so that little by little it becomes part of your personality.