Kids learn behavior from their parents. If you want your kids to be shy, then role model shyness. But if you want them be more assertive, you need to start role modeling that behavior because assertiveness is healthy. Passivity is very unhealthy. People who are passive have much more stress in their lives, don’t get the things they want or need, and don’t earn the respect they desire.
Some of you don’t know how to be assertive – instead, you go right into aggressive. Assertive is in between passive and aggressive.
Here are a few tips to be more assertive:
Make eye contact. Look the other person square in the eye. It makes you come across as stronger and more serious without being aggressive. At first, it might make you feel uncomfortable, but practice makes perfect.
Notice your body language. Don’t cross your arms. Be open, lean in, and try to have a pleasant demeanor.
Visualize your conversation. Practice it out loud in front of the mirror or with someone you trust so it gets to be comfortable.
Calmly state your piece. Don’t get angry, name-call, or yell. Give it a bit of thought before addressing the other person. If you want someone to listen to you, don’t point out how they’re wrong. Instead say, “I have another way of looking at this,” “I disagree,” or “I have a different perspective.” Attacks only result in attacks back.
Don’t worry about what others think. You have to believe that you can survive someone saying no or not liking you. Otherwise, you’ll be living inside yourself, tying your intestines into knots.
Now, being assertive doesn’t make you a magician. Saying things in a certain way won’t magically change a situation or person. However, being upfront and courageous in your life is important for you to be healthier inside your own head, psyche, soul, and body. Nobody can do that for you – only you can.
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