Assertiveness lets us express our ideas, opinions, thoughts and emotions without being passive or aggressive. You can be assertive by having a confident demeanor, speaking concisely, and talking slowly and clearly.
Have a confident demeanor; develop self-confidence
The way you present yourself conveys volumes of information about you. You must hold your chin up and keep your shoulders squared. Never fidget. If you feel fidgety, use your pockets. Never cover your mouth when you speak. As much as possible, make eye contact when you speak to someone.
Talk slowly and clearly
Speaking in a hurry indicates that you’re not sure whether people will listen to what you are saying. On the contrary, speaking slowly and clearly indicates that you’re assured and confident of what you’re saying. You don’t have to shout to make an impression on people who are listening to you.
Concentrate on the problem, not on the person
Dress appropriately and enhance your appearance
Normally, people tend to make quick judgments looking at your appearance. If you’re dressed like you just got out of bed, or if you’re dressed inappropriately, the average person will hardly take you seriously. However, if you look like a person who’ll get things done, people will certainly respect you.
Never misdirect your frustration
If the person at the airline counter insists that you must pay more for your heavy luggage, don’t get angry at your agent. Admit that you wouldn’t be in this predicament if you’d read the fine print. Treat your agent as your ally and request the person at the airline counter for an exception this one time.
Don’t mistake assertiveness for aggressiveness
Being assertive means calmly and clearly communicating what you want. This plainly indicates that you are in control. On the contrary, being aggressive means overreacting to minor things and acting pushy. This is exactly the opposite of staying in control.
Getting what you want is the reason for being assertive
On the contrary, being aggressive is akin to throwing a monkey wrench into all your plans. Aggressiveness succeeds in only putting the persons around you into unhelpful and foul moods.
Don’t be predictable, or easy-to-read
If you feel uncertain or nervous, hide your true feelings by restricting the movement of your hands and feet. Control your facial expressions from betraying your true emotions. Act confident, even when you are confused or nervous.
When you speak, be concise
You’re likely to lose audience if you don’t keep your communication brief and concise. The more concise your speech, the more authority your words will command.
Don't be afraid to say how you feel
Be truthful with yourself about your true wants
If you are the type of person who can’t take decisions about what you truly want, no amount of pretending to be confident will help you. You can’t expect to fool people around you by mere pretensions. Over time, people will be able tell what you really want from them.
Never off-load decision-making onto someone else
This behavior is a passive-aggressive means of shirking your responsibility. When you adopt this behavior, you place the responsibilities and consequences on someone else’s shoulders. The next time your colleagues ask you where you’d like to go for lunch, don’t answer, “Oh, wherever”.
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