What is Assertiveness?
Assertiveness is an important skill that can be learned. It enables you to communicate with people in a way that is honest and direct without hurting their feelings. Assertiveness can help you build self-confidence and reduce potential conflict. As a result, it can help you enhance your personal and professional relationships.
Assertiveness is not about being aggressive or confrontational, as some people may think. Being assertive is about communicating your feelings, opinions and needs in a respectful way while being open and receptive to the other person’s needs at the same time.
How Assertiveness Can Help You
Some people think that being aggressive gets them what they want. However, intimidating behaviour often hurts relationships in the longer term. Passive behaviour, however, may leave you feeling that your needs and feelings are ignored.
Being assertive can be described as the middle ground between being passive or aggressive. Some of the benefits of assertiveness include:
- better understanding of yourself and others
- stronger relationships
- reduced conflict and negative experiences that can lead to stress
- reduce stress and anxiety
- enhanced self-esteem
- higher chances of achieving your goals more effectivley.
How to be assertive?
In assertiveness training, the basic assumption is that each person is allowed to have a different opinion and to express this. It involves clearly understanding what you want from the other person and describing your needs and ideas clearly and respectfully.
The assertive approach to communication also takes into account the needs and feelings of others. The result when using assertiveness skills is that the communication steers away from being overly passive (where one does not get their needs met) or excessively aggressive (where one may get their needs met but without considering the needs of others.)
As opposed to being aggressive or passive, assertiveness has significant advantages, including preserving one’s self-esteem, increasing one’s chance of getting what one wants without alienating others, and preserving relationships at times of conflict.
Psychologists can teach you different techniques that, in conjunction with assertive behaviour, can help you navigate difficult conversations or situations with other people more gracefully and productively.
Several basic steps are involved, as well as various other associated skills that can help you become a more effective communicator. Like any other skill, assertiveness takes time to learn.
Assertiveness is not only about how you speak or what you say. It is also about body language. Staying calm while being assertive is also an important skill to learn. A psychologist can help you learn and develop techniques to calm yourself and take time to respond.
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