A is for Assertiveness
A-Z of Jigsaw Enterprise Training: A is for Assertiveness
Being more assertive is a great skill to have. You will feel happier and have more confidence, if you are more assertive, but what is assertiveness and how do we become more assertive?
What is Assertiveness?
Assertiveness helps you explain how you feel and what you need without being rude or aggressive and hurting the other person’s feelings. If you are assertive you can stand up for yourself and still treat the other person with respect.
Why is it important to be more Assertive?
It is important to act in an assertive way because it will help you to feel safe, and stop you doing things that you might not really want to do. This helps you to feel more confident, and happier in yourself as a person. Being assertive can be a very hard thing to do, especially if you want to fit in and not feel different to everyone else, and it may mean disagreeing with someone else, which can be hard, especially if they are your friend. Remember everyone has the right to say what they feel, and ask for what they need, and it will become easier the more your practice.
It is important to be assertive and not just go along with something you don’t want to do, or disagree with, because you might not get what you want from life, and people may take advantage of you. This is sometimes called passive behaviour. Your confidence may be affected if you do not put yourself, and what you need first.
Being Assertive is different to being rude or angry
If you are rude or unkind, or you are shouting and angry, then you are being aggressive.
Aggressive behaviour can hurt other people, and might get you into more trouble. It can be really difficult to not get angry and control your feelings, if you are upset, or someone is winding you up. But stay calm, and don’t have the conversation, whilst you are tired or still feeling upset.
Tips to help you become more Assertive
• If you are not sure what you want, it’s ok to ask for more time to make up your mind;
• Write down what you want to say, and practice it with someone you trust, and who you find it easy to be assertive with first;
• Fake it to make it; act calm and confident even if you are not;
• Make eye contact;
• Say what you want clearly and politely;
• Don’t apologise for saying what you need.
If you would like to explore Assertiveness in more detail, please contact us about our course Assertiveness in Everyday Situations.