Assertiveness Top Ten Tips

Being assertive is a valuable talent that can be applied both within and outside the workplace.  On the other hand, our present-day responses and behaviors are the product of years of careful adjustment and adaptation. Being assertive is not a skill you can learn overnight, but the more you practice it, the better you will get. And even if it’s possible that you won’t always get what you want, at least you’ll know you gave it your all every time. Consequently, to improve your aggressive behavior, here are the top 10 tips:

1. Have a stronger belief in yourself; think positively and engage in a positive dialogue with yourself internally. Put yourself in front of a mirror, look squarely in the eye, and compliment yourself on how amazing you are.

2. Accept that you will never be able to alter other people’s behavior. You can only alter what you do; if you change your behavior, it will give people permission to change how they act towards you.

3. Educate yourself to respond rather than react. Start basing your decisions on how to behave on whether or not you are willing to admit and accept the consequences. Recognize that you, and only you, are responsible for making that choice; nobody else has compelled you to do so.

4. Stop berating yourself for the choices and actions you’ve taken in the past. Instead, look at each circumstance as a potential learning opportunity that can lead to changes in your behavior in the future.

5. Be mindful of the way you carry yourself. Check that it corresponds with what you say; people are more likely to believe what they see than what they hear.

6. Follow the steps of the green cross code: stop, look, and listen; then, consider how you would like to react. This will help you maintain control over yourself and the situation while allowing others to do so.

7. Instead of focusing on self-defense, try to find a solution to the problem. Focus on the circumstances rather than how you feel, and remember that the other person is most likely upset about the circumstances and not with you personally.

8. Give some thought and pick your words carefully. Eliminate phrases such as “I’m really sorry,” “I’m frightened,” “Could you possibly…?” or “Can I just…?” from your vocabulary. These phrases send the message, “I’m a pushover.” Instead of making judgments or exaggerations, try replacing them with statements beginning with “I,” followed by accurate descriptions. This will inspire the other individual to perform the same action.

9. When you feel like it, just say “no.” Make sure you don’t forget to grant the same privileges to yourself as you give to everyone else. And if it makes a difference, try to keep in mind that you are not rejecting them on a personal level. You are turning down their request, aren’t you?

10. Have a “can do” mentality. Consider the possibility of being responsible for the events in your life rather than the victim of chance.

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