It is not always easy to be assertive – especially with those people whom you perceive to have control over some part of your life. Sometimes, you may develop a passive behavior with some people just to not say or do anything which might jeopardize your relationship with them.
Assertive behavior is the best behavior you can focus on ! You won’t be relinquishing your rights – you’ll be establishing them, and it will be without fear because you’ll be respected for standing up for yourself.
Here are some tips about how to develop the skills you need to be more assertive:
Know that you have value. Your rights need to be valued as much as anyone else's. You have the right to be treated with dignity and respect
Don’t apologize for everything. Unless you truly do owe an apology, don’t apologize each time something goes wrong – if it’s not your fault; don't defend or explain. You may think that an apology calms down a precarious situation, but you don't need to take blame when it is not appropriate.
Say what you mean and don’t accept responsibility for how the other person react about what you said. Give yourself permission to speak with kind assertiveness and state your feelings, thoughts, and ideas.
Identify clearly what you need and want and say “No!” when needed. Know your limits and express them to others when pushed to the edge.
Everyone has had those moments of passiveness – saying ‘yes’ when we would really rather say ‘no’ – or letting someone walk over us in business or personal dealings when we should have stood up for our rights. And in turn, after an ‘episode’ of being passive, we may feel angry and frustrated that we weren't more assertive.
Remember, becoming more assertive does not imply that you are an unkind person! Not at all! What it means is that when you are assertive, you are sending out the message that you are a worthwhile and confident woman who knows her rights and is able to set boundaries.
When you are assertive, you are honest and sincere and you treat others as equal and with respect.
When you display assertive behavior, you do so in a self-assured, forthright manner, but you take care to respect the beliefs and feelings of those you’re communicating with. Assertiveness is also about choice! Perhaps there are times when you don't want to speak up during a disagreement - a choice made from a place of liberation and not fear - assertiveness gives you the ability to make the choice that is right for you!
“Assertiveness is not what you do – it’s who you are” --.Shakti Gawain
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