Confidence comes in all packages and manners, and one way that it can be displayed is by being assertive when the situation calls for it.
If you’ve ever felt like your opinion is not being heard and you just want others to listen to you, then assertiveness is something that you need to practice on. Check out some of these tips on how to be more assertive in any situation.
Emulate a model
Having a model in mind—be it your favorite public speaker or just someone that you feel is able to be assertive in his or her own way—can help you have a goal to pattern your own assertiveness to.
At the beginning, you can copy that person, his mannerisms, his way of dealing with people, even the volume of his voice. When you’ve finally gotten the hang of being assertive, you can be more assertive in your own way and style.
Speak your mind
When you remain silent most of the time, others will think that you either have no opinion, and therefore you are not interested in the conversation or you are not following the conversational etiquette by not holding up your end of the discussion.
Don’t assume that your thoughts and opinions don’t matter—they do! Sharing your opinion is natural when talking to someone. Disagreeing with others is also natural but you have to know when to rein in the urge to prove yourself right. Be sensitive to the conversation. If the other person seems like the type to get easily irritated, don’t push it. If you feel like you can have a fun discussion with the disagreement, then do so to your heart’s content.
Know what you want
Being aggressive about something means that you already have a particular outcome that you want in mind. By having your own stand in the matter, you will have the right arguments and points that will allow you to stay firm with your side and be able to sway others to see your own view.
This will help you in negotiating your own side and being able to be assertive without having to step on other people’s toes.
Learn to say no
People ask each other favors, and this is fine as long as you are able to help. But if you find yourself in a situation wherein you are more inclined to say no, don’t hold back. It’s better to politely say no to requests that you cannot accomplish than to inconvenience the person later on when you are unable to accomplish what you started.
Don’t be a doormat for most people. You can agree to some things and grant favors as long as it is within your capabilities and comfort. But if it’s already too much, don’t hesitate to tell the other person the situation. Nobody has the right to force you to do something that is impossible or beyond your willingness to do so, especially if it’s not right.
The first time is always the hardest. You’re never really sure of how a situation will go or how you can even assert yourself. But even if you feel that you weren’t able to do your best, shrug it off and look forward to the next time you can do it.
You can’t expect to suddenly be assertive. It is not a light switch that you can easily gain when you want it. Being assertive requires practice. Time and again, you may feel a bit hesitant but with experience and success, you will be on your way to getting it down.