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.
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
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
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"Being part of the assertiveness course was like a different world, one that I have since made sure I am actively living in. So thank you, I have recommended it to almost all friends and colleagues."
Farah Hasson - Policy Support Officer - Consumer Council for Water
"It was a fantastic day and very useful. I have been busy putting my training into practice. In fact, a colleague commented that I was ‘very assertive (but in a good way)’ in a meeting with some senior managers last week!"
Joanne Lewsley - Editor - Content Consultants
"The course opened my eyes for a lot of new ideas. I am really excited about the impact these are already having on my life. I loved the format of it. Instead of a lecture, we got to play: enter different situations and try out various roles, attitudes and mental states in them. Speak of impact..."
Radoslava Leseva - Software Developer - DiaDraw
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