The goal of assertiveness is to ensure that your legitimate needs are met.
If you find that you are often feeling resentful, this can be a sign that your assertiveness skills could do with a polish! Have a look at this TED talk by Amy Cuddy. It is a fun short video with some great tips!
The best-known textbook on assertiveness, 'Your Perfect Right' by Alberti & Emmons, says this: "Many people view assertiveness as a verbal behaviour, believing that they must have 'just the right words' to handle a situation effectively. On the contrary, we've found that how you express an assertive message is a good deal more important than what you say......... We're primarily concerned with encouraging honesty and directness, and much of that message is communicated nonverbally."
This is the approach I take. In just a few sessions you will feel comfortable expressing yourself, and your body language will naturally and automatically communicate that self-assurance.
Give these techniques a try
- Imagine you are Mr or Mrs Assertive. What would they do in this situation?
- Set and enforce rules and boundaries. What is acceptable and what is not?
- Be clear about, define and clarify your own role and other people's roles. What is being expected of you? Let others know what you expect of them.
- Don't get pushed into decisions. Get a bit of thinking time - say 'Let me think about that...'
- Practice expressing your thoughts, feelings and opinions, and start doing it more. You don't have to shout them, just express them.
- Expressing disagreement with other people's views or actions. You don't have to accept everything everyone else does. Make them work for their opinions! Ask for evidence - 'Is that true? Where is the evidence for that?'
- Practice initiating and terminating conversations.
- Offer praise when appropriate. Giving praise is a great skill and it helps you strengthen your self-esteem too..
- Get practice at refusing to comply with another person's request, demand or offer rather than always putting other peoples' demands before your own preferences. Even if it is a trivial thing, experiment with saying no and see what happens.
- Practice making appropriate requests of others.
- Encourage criticism to be constructive. Ask your critic 'What would you do in my situation? What would you not do?' Then pursue it. 'Show me how you do it. Give me a demonstration'. Make people work for the privilege of being critical.
- Read all about it! This free PDF on assertivness is very helpful
And there are lots more effective techniques to help you build your confidence. Let's work on this together. You will be feeling great again in just a few sessions. If you want to improve your assertiveness, give me a call on 075309 11087. Book here for a one-to-one session with me.
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