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Assertiveness - Communicate Wisely

We frequently mistake assertiveness with someone acting aggressively toward us or others when making a point or request. We may also think of assertive behavior as someone who must always be right. These ideas are far from the truth. When assertive behavior and actions are carried out in a positive and confident manner then we are not compromising ours or someone else’s beliefs or principles. So how do we practice assertiveness without sounding aggressive? 

Assertiveness is often paired with self-esteem. How we feel out our self (self-confidence) can affect our communication when we require something, or we want to convey our point. 

1.       Assertive people use the “I” statement to make their points. When using “I” there is no negativity on the other person. You are not talking about yourself and not blaming others. 

2.      Don’t assume the other person knows what you need or what you are thinking. State what you feel as honestly as possible, so the other person can understand where you are coming from. 

3.      Understand that you are not responsible for how others react which can be hard especially for people pleasers. However, you have needs, and it is not about the other person when you are expressing those needs. 

4.      Don’t get caught up in anger or the intense emotions of others. They too have a right to express themselves, but you are not responsible for their expression.

Learning to be assertive can take some practice. Thoroughly laying out your thoughts before a tricky situation with another person is one of the best tactics for successful assertive communication. Remembering what you need from the conversation, so you won't be persuaded to go in an unintended direction will solidify the outcome and keep a positive cadence.