If you are like me, you are a very passive person. Which, there is nothing wrong with being passive; it just doesn’t always get you what you want or where you want. Sometimes not showing a higher level of assertiveness can convey to others that you are not that confident in what you are doing or what you have to say. To help, here a five ways to become more assertive.
Don’t be afraid to say, “No”.
People often feel if they don’t say “yes” to whatever is being asked of them, they will end up hurting the other person’s feelings. That may be true, but the other person needs to know that you don’t have to do what they say. Throw that guilt of hurting someone’s feelings away and say no if you mean it. Also, make sure it is a strong and firm no. Voicing or writing what can be conveyed as a soft or limp “no”, could give the other person the idea that they could still persuade you to saying “yes”. Regardless, a no is a no.
Speak up. Speak out. Speak loud.
There are some people out there that are soft spoken, and could feel intimidated by those who are not. Your voice is just as important as the person with the loud booming voice next to you. If you want people to hear what you have to say, own the words you are speaking. You don’t have to scream them to be loud, just raise your voice a little and speak clearly. Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion, everyone has one, and they are not afraid to say theirs.
Make direct eye contact
The one sure fire way to tell that you are not that confident or assertive in what you are saying is by not making direct eye contact. It may be scary to look people directly in the eye, I know I struggle with this sometimes, but it shows that you mean what you are saying and are not going to change your mind.
Know the difference between assertive and aggressive
Often times when people say they going to become more assertive, they start to lean over into the territory of aggression. Assertive is defined as by dictionary.com as being confidently aggressive or self-assure. Aggressive is defined as by dictionary.com as being vigorously energetic, especially in the use of initiative and forcefulness and boldly assertive and forward. Assertive is being the right amount of aggressive without coming off as threatening.
The Godfather said once, “Confidence is silent. Insecurities are loud”. As long as you are secure with what you are saying and doing, nothing else really matters.
All in all, being assertive takes practice and is not going to suddenly present itself to you over night. Just stay patient and keep working at it.