How To Be Assertive Without Getting Angry
Sometimes, our efforts to show our assertiveness cross the line and we end up coming across as rude, aggressive or downright belligerent.
No matter what type of business we are involved in, our success is in part determined by how well we deal with people.
We need to present ourselves as confident, decisive and assertive.
Let's Not Overdo It
Sometimes, however, our efforts to show our assertiveness cross the line.
We end up coming across as rude, aggressive or downright belligerent.
Let's clarify the major distinctions.
Assertiveness vs. Aggressiveness
In any situation where your rights or space are being violated, there are generally three options available to you.
- Be submissive, say nothing, and fume in silence.
- Be aggressive and hostile, which will probably just fuel the fire.
- Calmly and politely assert your interests.
Just Stop It
Sometimes when we feel compelled to speak up, we can easily lose sight of the fact that we just want to stop the offensive behaviour, period.
We do not need to humiliate the other person, nor do we need to humiliate ourselves by overreacting.
This person may not even be aware of any wrongdoing.
In any event, explosive, self-righteous behaviour is never a good first line of defence.
Confident people have no need or desire to belittle others.
Assertiveness does not seek to humiliate or purposely embarrass anyone.
The other party may well end up feeling a little embarrassed, but it won't be laced with anger at you.
It's amazing how cooperative people can become when treated with respect.
And it is equally amazing how swiftly and surely they will become uncooperative if they are being attacked in any way, even with a subtle gesture or an exasperated tone of voice.
Humans always respond more favourably to kindness.
There's an old saying, maybe a little corny, but it still holds true:
"You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar."
This bit of common knowledge may not be as common as we think.
Next time a situation arises, remember that you can choose to assert your interests calmly and politely without becoming angry or abusive.
Your kindness will likely be returned, and even if it's not, your own sense of personal mastery and self-esteem will rise a notch.
You'll find such good feelings to be habit-forming.
Now there's a habit worth having.
The following article was contributed by Rosella Aranda, editor and author.
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