#1: Speak from a position of intelligence
There’s nothing worse than talking to someone who wants to assert their position just because they can.
They say a lot of mumbo jumbo and try to make it seem as if they’re an expert on the topic, even if it is blatantly obvious to everyone around them that they don’t have a clue.
If you’re going to speak up for what you believe in or share your opinion, then you’re better off doing it from a position of knowledge and/or experience or you may wind up looking like a fool.
Plus, you’re less likely to offend the person that you’re about to disagree with if you have a well thought out reason for feeling the way you do or seeing things in a different way.
When you back up your position with facts, people are more likely to take you seriously. They may even be grateful for your assertiveness in telling them what is on your mind because you’re clearly educated in the subject matter and have shed some light on the situation for them.
Who knows? You may just change their opinion.
#2: Be confident but not overly so
Certainly you want to be confident in whatever manner you’re being assertive, but don’t try so hard to show your high level of self-esteem that you turn others off and come off as a rude and snobbish bitch.
There is a seemingly fine line, but the more you can stay on the right side of it, the better you are.
Remember that you can have self-confidence without having to cut someone else down to get it. And, don’t compare yourself to others as each person has to stand on their own merit. Be the best that youcan be and let everyone else worry about themselves.
One of the best ways to show your confidence is through your posture. Walk tall and look people in the eyes. Carry yourself as if you believe in yourself 100% (which you should, by the way).
Even if you don’t feel totally confident in the situation, you’ll notice that just walking as if you do gives you a little unexpected boost that will help you not only look but also feel the part.
#3: Use your manners
This is where assertive turns to bitchy. When you start forgetting your manners, such as saying “please” and “thank you,” when you are talking to others in an assertive manner, then you’re really doing yourself an injustice.
You come across as someone who is rude and offensive and this alone will likely keep you from making your point as people will be so put off by your behavior that they may choose to not listen to a word that you say.
When you’re speaking with others, treat them with the same respect that you would want your family member treated with. Imagine that it is your mother or grandmother that you’re trying to talk to and use the same etiquette.
Make your family proud of the fact that they raised a lady.
#4: Remember your goal
Sometimes it can be hard to be assertive because you’re afraid that you’re going to upset the other person and they may end up not liking you.
If you’re a people pleaser, this is especially frightening to you as you generally do your best to make others happy and don’t like to rock the boat.
However, there are times that you have to remind yourself of your goal.
This alone may get you to act more forcefully than you normally would. Maybe you’re having a conversation with your child’s teacher and they’re trying to shut you down and make you go away.
However, if you give in you’re not helping your child any, so you need to forge ahead even if you’re uncomfortable doing so.
So, keep in mind that sometimes it is necessary to say what is on your mind as it is more damaging if you don’t. And, if you’re looking to change something, it’s almost a necessity as most things do not move unless they’re forced to.
Don’t be afraid to be the force when the situation calls for it.
#5: Don’t lose your values
Generally when someone feels like they have to enter into a disagreement or face someone that has a different opinion, it may be easy to agree just for the sake of foregoing an argument.
Deep down you may see things on a completely opposite level, but you don’t want to say anything because you don’t want to pick a fight.
Certainly there is a time and a place for voicing your concerns and you don’t have to turn every difference of opinion into a war. But, you also don’t have to lie down and say nothing when you feel like your morals and values are being stepped on and walked over.
Everyone is entitled to be respected. Therefore, if someone is blatantly disrespecting you or someone else, then you have every right to stand up for yourself (or them) and share your opinion.
Obviously, you want to abide by the other recommendations here of speaking intelligently and using your manners, but you wouldn’t be out of line by saying something if you feel like you’re being violated.
Here’s the thing to remember: if someone is offended by what you say – even if you say it with kindness and respect – then that is their problem, not yours. Here’s why you shouldn’t care what people think anyway.
It is completely up to them how they react to you and, quite frankly, you have no control over that. If they respond in a completely inappropriate way, they are the ones that look like the fool. Not you.
Standing up for yourself and asserting yourself in certain situations takes a lot of guts and courage. Although you may be scared to do it, you’ll feel amazing when you don’t let yourself be a doormat.