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Iceni Magazine | May 30, 2024

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Assertiveness: 10 tips to help you improve

Assertiveness: 10 tips to help you improve

Assertiveness is a skill important in many areas of life, essential in both your personal and work life.

However, the reactions and behaviours we demonstrate now are because of many years of learning and honing.

Being assertive is not something that we can just click our fingers and gain. But the more you do it, the better you become at being the assertive person you hope to be. Having said that, while you may wish to achieve certain things by way of being more assertive, it is impossible for this to always be the case. Knowing you have done all you can will make you feel somewhat better, though.

Here are ten tips to help you improve your assertiveness:

  1. Believe in yourself

Try to think positively when faced with any sort of adversity and challenges. Speak to yourself internally with words and encouragement that you would use when chatting to a friend or child. This can be tricky to achieve but try standing looking into a mirror and telling yourself about things you admire or like about yourself.

  1. Be realistic

While it may be a hope or desire of yours to change other people’s behaviour in order to make life better for both them and you, it is not something you are actually in charge of. You are solely responsible for what you do. Changing your behaviour can influence others to think and act differently, too. 

  1. Learn to respond, not react

It is easy to blame other people’s actions for our own, but actually, we are always responsible for ourselves. Start choosing how to carry yourself and act, recognising the outcomes and consequences of what you have said and done. Try to accept that you – and only you – have made the choice you did; you were not coerced into doing it.

  1. Forgive yourself

When faced with challenging situations, it can be easy to blame yourself or relive moments, wishing we had acted or responded differently. Stop beating yourself up for things you have chosen to do and the consequences of those actions. Instead, try to remember that every situation can give you the opportunity to learn and move forward with renewed confidence. Forgiving yourself is vital.

  1. Watch your body language

Body language can influence other people’s actions and behaviours significantly. Be sure to check that your body language matches what you are actually saying. People tend to believe what they see rather than the words being spoken.

  1. Stop Look Listen

When faced with challenges, adopt a crossing the road approach; stop, look, listen and then think about the way in which you would like to respond. This will help you to stay in control of yourself, your actions and what is happening. It can help others to do the same, too.

  1. Aim for situation resolution not self defence

Dealing with a tricky situation can make you feel as though you must defend yourself. However, try to concentrate on the situation rather than your own emotions. The other person is probably feeling angry or hurt because of what is happening rather than because of you and your personality.

  1. Choose your words wisely

Lose words and phrases that indicate “I’m a pushover”, such as “I’m so sorry”, “I’m afraid” “Would you be able to…?” or “Can I just …?”. Instead, choose strong “I” statements followed by factual descriptions instead of judgments or exaggerations. This will encourage the other person to do the same.

  1. Learn to say “no”

Being a yes person can mean that you put other people and their needs ahead of your own. Try to remember when you are saying no, you are not declining them rather their request or situation.

  1. Have a “can do” attitude

It is easy to think that nothing is going to go right. However, if you remember that things don’t simply happen, you have to work for it and make it happen, your situation can quickly change.


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