If you're not used to it then being assertive is kind of like trying to climb Mt Everest without doing altitude training and no Sherpa to help out.
Really hard, if not downright impossible.
Learn to be Assertive
Being assertive, however, can be learned.
You don't have to live the whole rest of your life feeling trodden on and unable to speak up for yourself.
Before we give you a couple of tips, one of the reasons people find it hard to be assertive is that they think they have to change themselves out of all recognition.
In turn, this belief reinforces itself because every time you want to be assertive you may very well talk yourself out of it because it feels to big an 'ask'.
Fear of Being Assertive
And one of the reasons being assertive may feel too big an 'ask' is fear of consequences.
If I'm assertive and let people know that they've upset me, or I say I don't really want to be 'volunteered' yet again, or I tell my boss it's not convenient for me to stay late, then something terrible will happen.
- I might get sacked
- My friends won't talk to me anymore
- I'll appear mean and selfish
It's All in Your Head
Now really, how likely is it that any of those things will happen?
But those are the kinds of thoughts that go through people's heads and stop them from being assertive when to do so would make their lives so much better.
Being assertive means setting boundaries so other people know how things stand with you.
It doesn't mean being aggressive, demanding, difficult, unpleasant, angry.
Being assertive doesn't mean you have to yell, stamp your feet or throw a tantrum (though certainly, when you've been trampled on a lot, you may feel like doing just that).
Assertiveness is all about knowing how far you are willing to go and making yourself clear so that others understand what you are able to do.
This doesn't mean you will always get your way, but it will mean that you are letting people know that you aren't the pushover they are used to having around.
Being assertive means you only have to be a little bit more assertive than you are now in order for things to change.
Find the next available Public Assertiveness Skills Course
Impact Factory runs
Open Assertiveness Training Courses
Tailored Assertiveness Training
One-to-One Executive Coaching
for anyone who is interested in
Assertiveness Training in London