The Meaning of Assertiveness and 5 Ways to Learn It

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The Meaning of Assertiveness and 5 Ways to Learn It
The Meaning of Assertiveness and 5 Ways to Learn It

Assertiveness is one of the skills in communication. Assertiveness is characterized by the ability to communicate honestly, firmly, and straightforwardly, but still being able to respect the feelings of others

Learning and practicing self-assertiveness is important. This is because assertiveness can help you express yourself effectively, defend your point of view, avoid conflict, increase self-confidence, and respect the rights and beliefs of others.

The Meaning of Assertiveness and 5 Ways to Learn It - Alodokter

The Characteristics of People Who Have an Assertive Attitude

Below are some of the characteristics of people who are able to be assertive:

  • Able to give opinion firmly
  • Be able to say what I feel honestly
  • Being able to clearly ask what is needed or wanted
  • Able to give ideas and suggestions to others
  • Being able to say 'no' without feeling guilty
  • Able to represent other people to talk
  • Able to express disagreement in a good way

How to Learn Assertiveness

There are people who are naturally assertive. However, assertiveness can also be learned and trained independently.

However, before learning assertiveness, try to pay attention to your style and way of communicating so far. Do you communicate in a passive or aggressive style?

Passive communication style is characterized by a lack of confidence when expressing opinions, always feeling uncomfortable saying 'no', and having difficulty expressing feelings honestly.

Meanwhile, aggressive communication style is usually characterized by an overly high level of self-confidence and tends not to empathize with the views and needs of others.

By paying attention and understanding how you communicate so far, it will be easier for you to learn ways to be assertive. Here are various ways you can practice your self-assertive skills:

1. Respect yourself

To be assertive, you need to understand and respect yourself first. This will help you to realize that you deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. It can also increase your confidence to stand up for your rights and protect your boundaries.

2. Practice saying 'no'

Saying 'no' is sometimes difficult, especially if you are a people pleaser who is not used to doing it. However, if you want to be assertive, you have to practice saying 'no' to things that you really don't like or might burden you with.

Learn to be honest with the other person about your limitations, needs, and responsibilities, so he can understand the reason behind your refusal to accept his request and you won't feel guilty afterwards.

3. Use the word 'I' when giving an opinion

You can also apply this method to train yourself to be assertive. Using the word 'I' at the beginning of a sentence can help the other person understand what you are thinking and feeling without sounding accusatory.

For example, if you don't agree with something, try starting the phrase with 'I don't think this is right, because…', rather than 'You're wrong'.Also, if you have a request, it's better to say 'I would be very happy if you help' rather than 'You should help me'.

4. Use good body language

Communication is not only verbal, but also nonverbal. Body language is a type of nonverbal communication. To manifest an assertive attitude, you can try to use good body language when communicating with other people.

For example, maintain an upright posture, make appropriate eye contact, maintain a positive facial expression, and avoid crossing your arms or legs when communicating. With good body language as above, you will be able to communicate more confidently, decisively, and effectively.

5. Control emotions well

This is also important for you to practice so that you can be assertive. When you are in a poor communication situation, you may feel angry, frustrated, or even want to cry.

Even though they are normal, these emotions can get in the way of conflict resolution. So, when faced with a conflict, try to control your emotions by remaining calm and keeping your voice intonation. If you are feeling overly emotional, you can wait for the emotions to subside, before returning to the situation.

Keep in mind that being a person who is able to be assertive may take some time. So, try to keep practicing patiently using the methods above. If you have difficulty communicating, it never hurts to consult a psychologist.

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