Do you want to know how to assert yourself?
People who cannot speak up or defend themselves are taken for granted, used, and disrespected.
This is wrong, but it is what we see in the world today.
As a result, every individual has to protect themselves and their needs to survive in this world. To do so, you need to know how to assert yourself.
What does it mean to assert oneself?
How do you do it?
In this blog, we will answer those questions as we share relevant information on how to assert yourself.
Let us proceed by understanding what it means to assert yourself.
What Does It Mean to Assert Yourself? – How to Assert Yourself
To assert yourself means to behave or speak in a way that indicates what you feel or think.
It means to act and speak up for yourself in ways that cause others to recognize or accept your right or authority.
When you assert yourself, you are setting boundaries, stating facts about yourself to other people, and being a confident person.
As a result, others will not undermine, or take you for granted.
Traits of Assertive People – How to Assert Yourself
For you to assert yourself, you will have to possess certain traits and characteristics.
These characteristics are commonly found in assertive people.
They help them to assert themselves in the right way.
So, to assert yourself properly, here are the traits of assertive people you will need to possess:
Assertive individuals are confident in who they are and what they do.
They know their boundaries, likes, and dislikes and are confident about them.
These people are not scared to voice their opinion and stand up for others and themselves.
You have to possess this trait, if not you might not be bold enough to assert yourself.
Sincerity – How to Assert Yourself
Assertive individuals are sincere.
They don’t hide the truth rather they relate and communicate with people sincerely.
These people understand that strong relationships are not built on hypocrisy and lies.
Their true self is not hidden from people.
Sincerity will help you voice out your feelings and need without holding anything back.
When you are sincere, you will assert yourself in a way that others will understand and relate to.
Emotional independence is being able to depend on yourself without needing any emotional support from people.
Emotionally independent individuals do not need other people to make them happy and pursue their goals.
They also know how to handle any emotional hurt they face on their own.
Assertive people are emotionally independent.
As a result, they are not scared of rejection or about what people might think about them for being assertive.
They don’t seek people’s validation concerning things they want for themselves.
So, they can do without people’s acceptance as long as they are doing the right thing.
When you are emotionally independent you will not be scared to assert yourself because it might upset others.
Rather, you will be bold enough to accept and deal with whatever emotional hurt that comes from you standing up for yourself.
Self-Control – How to Assert Yourself
Assertive people are not aggressive or violent.
They know that being assertive does not need violence.
They have learned that the easier and healthier way to speak their mind and show their emotions is when they control themselves.
So, they calmly and firmly assert themselves without losing control.
This trait is essential when asserting yourself to avoid causing issues.
Good Communication Skills
Assertive people understand that for them to be heard and understood correctly they have to communicate properly.
They also understand that the other party’s contribution is important, so they are willing to listen.
These people do not rule over other people because they want to be heard.
As a result, they possess good communication skills that enable them to clearly and assertively speak their mind and listen to the other party.
This way, they can assert themselves with lesser issues.
If you do not want to be misunderstood when asserting yourself, you will need to possess this trait.
Respect – How to Assert Yourself
Assertive people value and respect themselves and other people.
As a result, they do not let people disregard or disrespect them and others.
Also, this trait helps them to assert themselves in a way that does not disrespect another person.
This is why assertive people engage in only constructive discussions where everyone’s opinions and ideas are respected and heard.
When asserting yourself, this trait will help you not to disrespect other people.
Benefits Of Asserting Yourself – How to Assert Yourself
What are the benefits of asserting yourself?
To answer that question, below are some of the benefits of asserting yourself:
It Improves Self-Esteem
Self-esteem is what a person believes, thinks, and feels about themselves.
Your self-esteem gets a boost every time you assert yourself.
The more you assert yourself, the more you believe, think, and think that you deserve respect.
It Builds Your Confidence – How to Assert Yourself
Asserting yourself does not only boost your self-esteem, it also builds your confidence.
In other words, you will see yourself better than how you thought and carry yourself with confidence.
The more you assert yourself, the better you will become at addressing and communicating with people without feeling scared to voice your mind.
It Fosters Better Relationships
Asserting yourself helps to foster and grow better relationships.
This is because when you assert yourself, you let your needs known to the other party.
As a result, you and the other person will be able to communicate and work with your needs.
In turn, your relationship will improve and become better.
It Promotes A Free Mind – How to Assert Yourself
When you keep quiet and do not assert yourself, there is a high tendency that it could affect your mental health.
For instance, when you don’t speak up but keep taking things from others that you ought not to, you might feel depressed or anxious.
Doing any of the above is not beneficial in any way.
Some folks are anxious and do not speak their mind to avoid upsetting others.
Others get depressed because their needs are not respected.
This, in turn, will promote a strengthened mindset where depression or anxiety does not reside.
It Will Help You to Easily Meet Your Needs
When you know how to communicate and assert yourself, it will help you to easily meet your needs with lesser conflicts.
You will not have to put up with many issues once you establish your authority or right.
Additionally, people will respect you and will not do anything to disregard your needs.
Tips on How to Assert Yourself
Asserting yourself does not mean that you disrespect other people and cause issues.
When you assert yourself that way, you hurt other people in the process.
So, you have to ensure that you properly assert yourself.
The tips we will share below will help you to do that provided you practice them:
1. Know Your Wants and Needs
Before you speak or act assertively, you have to understand and know your wants and needs.
What are you defending?
Which truth about yourself do you want others to know?
What are those things you will not accept?
How do you want people to treat you?
Once you know what your wants and needs are, you will know the things you should defend and be assertive about.
2. Make Your Expectations Clear – How to Assert Yourself
When you know your wants and needs, you have to move to make them happen.
To do this, you have to make your expectations clear to people.
Stand up for your basic desires when they are not met.
Do not accept treatments that do not meet your standards or expectation.
When you do this, be straightforward and let them know that your values and standards are not negotiable.
3. Practice Making Use of the Pronoun ‘I’
When you make use of the pronoun ‘I’ during communication, it shows that you are being responsible and accountable for your opinions and feelings without offending or attacking others.
Using the pronoun ‘I’ in your statements helps to tell how the situation which you are discussing is affecting you.
It focuses on your experience instead of someone else’s.
So, instead of saying ‘you did…’ or ‘you made…’ say ‘I want…’ or ‘I feel…’
This way, you will keep the communication open.
4. Say ‘No’ Without Backing Down – How to Assert Yourself
An essential aspect of asserting yourself is being able to simply say’ no’ without backing down.
You get to decide what you want and do with your time.
So, if there is an offer you don’t like or want, simply say no to it.
Also, know that you do not need to give a back story or justify why you say no.
Let the other party know that you understand and respect what they want, but you will not change your answer to accommodate their want.
5. Expect Rejection
It is not an easy job to assert yourself.
Not everybody will accept what you do or say.
So, you should expect rejection or anger from those people.
Do not let their disapproval stop you from asserting yourself.
6. Control Your Emotions – How to Assert Yourself
Lashing out will not help your cause to assert yourself.
You have to understand that people will come at you to weaken your resolve and get you angry.
So, do not give them satisfaction by losing control of your emotion.
You should not react violently nor should you break down in tears.
To avoid losing control, you should master your feeling by becoming conscious of them.
Notice the situation or time when strong emotions were evoked in you.
Additionally, practice breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga, to help calm you down.
When you can properly control your emotion, you then calmly assert yourself.
7. Be Confident
You cannot effectively assert yourself when you are shaky and scared.
However, when you are confident, you will effectively assert yourself and people will listen.
So, you need to be confident in yourself.
You have to believe that you deserve what you are after and should get it.
Be bold, and speak your mind.
You can boost your confidence by practicing what you want to say ahead of time.
The people you are communicating with should see the confidence in you, so make and keep eye contact as you speak.
Ensure that you do not make use of filler words or sounds such as ‘like’ or ‘um’.
8. Practice with A Family Member or Friend – How to Assert Yourself
If you cannot get the best from practicing alone or having a personal pep talk, you can practice being assertive with a family member or a friend.
When you do, it will boost your confidence and prepare you for when you need to assert yourself in a hostile or threatening situation.
Ensure that whoever you are practicing with values and respect you to avoid disrespect.
After practicing, you can ask for feedback to know if you were assertive enough to the other party.
9. Do Not Carelessly Say Sorry
When you keep apologizing for everything, people will take you for granted.
We are not saying you should not apologize when you are at fault.
Instead, we are saying do not make it a habit of apologizing for things you have no control over.
For instance, you should not apologize for the rain that stopped you from going to an event.
Instead of saying sorry, just politely let the other party know that you did your best but it did not turn out as planned.
When you do this, you are respecting yourself while trying to politely communicate with the other party.
10. Do Not Be Judgmental – How to Assert Yourself
While asserting yourself, you have to ensure that you do not come off as judgmental or condescending.
As we earlier stated, you have to respect other people while asserting yourself.
Ensure that you do not resort to judgmental statements to have your way.
Rather, be honest, clear, and not bias while asserting yourself.
11. Set and Stick to Boundaries
You have to be ready to set boundaries if you desire to assert yourself.
Let people know what you can do and what you can take.
This way, they will know not to require or demand things that you cannot take.
It does not stop there you also have to stick to those boundaries you set.
When you can stick to the boundaries you set, other people will respect them.
Check this out to discover 3 tips to setting boundaries.
12. Believe and Know Your Worth – How to Assert Yourself
If you do not believe you are worth anything, you will not be able to speak up for yourself.
You will keep receiving less than you deserve and accepting disrespect.
If you cannot believe in yourself, someone else will find it very difficult to believe in you and your needs or wants.
So, to assert yourself effectively, you have to believe you are worth the things you want.
Know your worth and you will find it easier to assert yourself.
13. Do Not Feel Guilty
You should never feel guilty for asserting yourself.
Know that when you reject an offer or a request, it does not mean that you are rejecting the person who made it.
Also, understand that as you reject the request, it does not make you a bad person.
You are only watching out for yourself.
So, do not let guilt make you do something you do not want to do.
Say ‘no’ and move on without guilt.
14. Do Not Make Use of Qualifying Language – How to Assert Yourself
Qualifying language is those words people add to a statement to weaken the action words in a statement.
Examples of qualifying language are probably, but, sort of.
When you make use of qualifying language, it indicates uncertainty.
It does not allow you to clearly state your mind.
Instead, it allows the other party to chip in their opinions that are mostly opposite of what you want.
This is not good when asserting yourself because then, the other party can try to have their way.
If you do not want this when you are asserting yourself, you should do away with qualifying language and speak your mind.
Make use of stronger statements and words that gives no room for another opinion.
Instead of saying something like ‘If you do not mind, I will like to leave early today’ say ‘I will be leaving early today’.
Be firm and straightforward.
15. Do Not Engage In Every Battle
Understand that it is not every battle you engage in.
Know how to pick your battles.
Do not go about barking at people for every slight error or judgment.
Decide on what matches or affects your values and speak up.
16. Be Conscious of Your Body Language – How to Assert Yourself
As you communicate and assert yourself, you have to be careful of what your body is saying.
Your body gives off signs that people take note of and sometimes take more seriously than what you are saying.
This could sometimes lead to the end of some communication.
So, to avoid this you have to be conscious of your body language to avoid coming off as threatening or violent.
Respect the other party’s personal space by keeping some distance.
Maintain eye contact when speaking to someone.
Ensure that you are audible enough but do not shout.
Let your tone be modulated to match the location and situation.
Ensure that you are in a relaxed posture whether you are standing or sitting.
Finally, make sure to use gestures that are not threatening but confident.
Conclusion on How to Assert Yourself
You have to stand and speak up for yourself to avoid being disrespected.
Make it a point of duty to assert yourself and make people understand your expectations and boundaries.
The tips we provided will help you accomplish this.
So, we advise that you start practicing them today.
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