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How to Be More Assertive
How to Be More Assertive

Assertiveness has nothing to do with yelling, screaming or threatening. Assertiveness actually requires you to be totally calm (at least on the outside). In fact, remaining calm is what gives you power. The person who loses it is the one losing – in terms of both commanding respect and attention. 

Here are some simple ways to be more assertive:

Decide what your limits are. What are you going to tolerate and what are you going to cut off at the pass? A little flexibility is OK, but you have to stick to your decisions about what’s tolerable and what’s not. 

Stop being so forgiving. If you continually forgive someone for ongoing bad behavior, the behavior will only get worse. 

Practice. Because assertiveness involves calm, clear communication and not a verbal assault, practice what you’re going to say in front of a mirror. 

State your grievance and offer a solution. When you assert yourself, you need to alert the other person that there is something you need to talk with them about. Calmly tell them what the problem is. For example, say, “I want to talk about the way you’ve been yelling at me. I don’t like it, and I am hurt and offended by it. It’s disturbing to the family, it doesn’t make me feel affectionate about you, and you don’t look too good doing it.” Then, try to seek some agreement about doing things differently. Ask, “Can we agree that from now on, you won’t yell, or if you are upset about something significant, let’s not discuss it front of other people.” Be sure to present a solution.  

Now, if you’re dealing with a resistant, unreasonable idiot, there’s nothing I can do to help you. Every situation cannot be fixed – that’s simply a fact of life.  

Tags: Attitude, Behavior, Personal Responsibility, Tips
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