Tips for Assertiveness


By observing how people communicate with each other or by introspecting how you communicate with people around you, especially in cases of undesired situations, you automatically tend to understand your personality.

Tips for Assertiveness

Here are some simple tips on being assertive −

Use positive posture

Use direct eye-contact, sit straight, and use a firm yet pleasant voice to communicate.

Listen to the question

Listen to what is being asked to you. If you agree to a request without even hearing it, you might end up taking on more work than you had bargained for!

Choose your words

Be clear and precise with your choice of words, so that the other person knows exactly what you mean. At the same time, make sure your words don’t come across as too blunt and straight-forward.

Don’t say ‘Sorry’ unnecessarily

Apologizing unnecessarily transfers the power to the other person, as apologizing comes with a guilt of having done something wrong. Others might exploit this guilt to extract favors out of you.

Don’t defend unless required

Saying you can’t do something need not be something that makes you feel guilty about. Don’t make excuses stating why you won’t do something.

Hold your fort

People who have been used to listening to ‘yes’ from you for years might get shocked on seeing you asserting your rights. If they try and push you hard, respond with an equally determined rebuttal.

Hold Your Fort

The broken record technique

Keep using the same rebuttal every time the person repeats his request. For example,

  • "Can I borrow your bike from you?”
  • "I am sorry but I cannot lend you my bike. I might need it.”
  • "I'll bring it back as soon as I can. I need it urgently. Aren't you my friend?”
  • “Yeah, I am. However, I cannot lend my bike to you.”
  • "I would do the same for you. You won't miss it for more than an hour."
  • “See, I know am your friend but I cannot lend my bike. I might need it."

Don’t expect acceptance

If you explain your decision every time you take a stance, you will come across as someone guilty of your actions. Let people adjust to the changes in you, rather than you changing as per their wish.

Accept the consequences

Saying ‘no’ might be met with displeasure initially, but the trick is to persist being assertive in face of opposition. That will eventually lead the person to change his method of dealing with you.