Most people wish they were more assertive.
In fact, most people misunderstand being assertive.
They often confuse it with being aggressive, or being belligerent.
And as I’m sure you know, all of us have shades of both passiveness and aggressiveness.
However, what really IS assertive behavior?
Well, it’s being able to “assert” something.
And what does THAT mean?
Simply stating what’s on your mind, or asking for what you want.
But it ALSO means allowing the OTHER PERSON to be assertive as well.
Say you see an interesting person. You’d like their phone number.
An example of assertive behavior would simply be to walk up, express that you think they are interesting, and ask for their phone number so you can get in touch with them later on. To know more about them. Because they are interesting.
Now, imagine doing that. Imagine walking up and saying that.
“Hi, I just noticed you standing there, and I thought you looked pretty interesting. I’m pretty busy right now, but how about if you give me your phone number, so I can call you later and we can meet up and hang out?”
Or something similar.
Of course, most people wouldn’t THINK of doing this. That is TERRIFYING!
But on another level, you probably realize that if you DID do this, and could say it with complete calmness and confidence, you’d get a lot of good results.
So how can you get to this level of calmness and confidence?
(And in case your wondering, you can substitute sales, or talking to your boss, or discussing difficult things with your partner, etc.)
The GOOD NEWS is that “assertiveness” is a transferable skill.
Like your chest muscles. If you work your chest muscles, ANYTHING physical you do, that involves your chest muscles will be easier.
Assertiveness works the same way.
To get better, all you’ve got to do is practice.
Any time you have an idea, an opinion, a desire, simply state it. Don’t force it on others. Don’t be belligerent with it, just state it as a FACT.
It’s raining out.
Today is cloudy.
I ate a cheeseburger last night.
I grew up in a one story house.
I’d like your phone number.
I didn’t like that movie.
I think that mustard and pizza go great together.
Don’t EXPECT agreement, but don’t EXPECT disagreement.
After all, you’re saying something that is ABSOLUTELY TRUE. For You.
Always look for opportunities to “strengthen” your assertiveness muscle.
Keep score. Write how many times you did it per day.
Try and keep a slightly increasing daily average.
And watch how easy it gets.