Assert Yourself-Be Confident
To assert oneself is to express a message of confidence. Non-verbal behaviours are as important as verbalising your assertiveness. The signals that a person sends, as well as receives, are crucial to the success of assertive communication.
Non-verbal cues include eye contact, body posture, personal space, gestures, and facial expressions, tone of voice, vocal volume, and timing.
People often attend counselling in the hope that they may become more assertive and less aggressive. The difficulty is that when you are unable to ask for what you want in an assertive manner frustration leading to anger becomes the common emotional response. People often say “I get so angry with myself, I don’t know how to ask for what I want, I don’t know how to say no and when I do I feel so guilty”.
My personal Bill of Rights; I have the right:
- To ask for what I want.
- To say no to requests or demands that I cannot meet.
- To express all of my feelings– positive and negative.
- To change my mind.
- To expect honesty from others.
- To be myself. To be unique.
- To feel safe, and be in a “none abusive” environment.
- To change and grow.
- To be treated with dignity and respect.
- To be happy.
- And More.
The positive steps of Assertive Communication.
- Prepare for a neutral conversation by diffusing your emotions and by waiting until the other person is likely to be least reactive and most receptive.
- Deliver your message as briefly and directly as possible, without being sarcastic, condescending, or judgemental.
- Be respectful. Allow enough time for the other person to respond without pressure.
- Reflectively listen. If the person becomes defensive reflect back to them what you hear them saying and validate their feelings.
- Reassert your message. Stay focused on the original issue, do not be derailed.