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Are You as Assertive as You Want to Be?

Margaret Minnicks, an ordained minister and Bible teacher, is used to giving advice about life.

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Everybody is a little assertive in some ways. However, some people would like to be more assertive. This article gives you six ways to become more assertive without much effort.

Assertive: Definition

According to most dictionaries, being assertive is the act of stating positively something with great confidence. Additionally, assertiveness is behaving confidently and is not being frightened to say what you want or believe.

When a person is assertive, he is confident, self-assured, and certain of his abilities and value.

Examples of Assertiveness

You can refuse to go shopping with your friends if you don't want to do so, or if you have previous plans. Being assertive is telling your neighbors that you are not able to babysit their children without feeling guilty. Being assertive is also being bold enough to question your boss about a project he wants you to undertake. It doesn't mean that you don't want to do the assignment. It merely means you want him to consider some things that will be more effective.

Being assertive is being able to question those in authority with confidence. You have the right to question your doctors, lawyers, and public employees about things that affect you and your well-being. There is nothing wrong with that, especially since you are paying them for their services.

Your Right to Be Assertive

You have a right to be assertive about receiving faulty merchandise, a bad meal in a restaurant, or when the auto mechanic has overcharged you. Some people don't speak up because they don't know how to do so with confidence.

Recently, I used Uber for the very first time. Since I was not in the habit of doing so, I waited outside my house a full 13 minutes after I was notified on my smartphone that the driver was on the way. When I reviewed my account afterward, I saw I had been charged an extra $0.40 for not being on time. I couldn't believe what I was seeing on my account because I was not late. The overcharge would not have been an issue if I had actually been late, but I was early instead of being late.

I called customer service to assure the company that I had been charged for something that didn't happen. It wasn't the small amount I was concerned about. It was the principle of the thing. Besides, had I not spoken up about it this time, it could become a pattern.

When I called customer service, the representative was very kind and said there would be a credit on my account. As soon as I got off the phone, I checked my online bank account. Just as the rep had promised, the $0.40 refund was in my account.

Most people would have dismissed the issue because it was such a small amount. I was bold enough to let the company know about it because it was within my rights to do so.

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Practice Assertiveness Six Ways

1. Control

You should be in control when you let people know what you want. Remember, the first one who yells first loses the situation.

2. Consider

Consider the other person's side of the matter.

3. Communicate

Communicate clearly what you want. It wouldn't hurt to state your reasons for wanting what you want.

4. Clarify

Don't beat around the bush. Be clear in stating exactly what you want the other person to do or not do.

5. Consequences

State the reward or benefit for getting what you want. Also, reveal anything negative that will happen if you don't get what you are asking for.

6. Correct Timing

Make your request known at the correct time. If you think you deserve a raise, don't ask your boss for it when he is tried up with a major project, when he first gets to work on a Monday morning, or when he is packing up to leave the office on a Friday evening.

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Don't Confuse Assertiveness with Agressiveness

There is a big difference between being assertive and being aggressive. A person who is aggressive demands things from others without regard to their feelings, wants, and needs.

The most important word in being assertive is the word "I." It is learning to ask yourself one or more of the following questions:

  • "What do I want?"
  • "What do I need?"
  • "What am I entitled to ask for?"
  • "How can I ask for something without making a demand?"

Being assertive does not mean being aggressive, rude, or selfish. It does not mean insulting, offending, or putting family members and friends down thinking it will make you look good. Assertiveness does not include pushing people out of the way or stabbing co-workers in the back just so you can get ahead. On the other hand, being assertive is having the ability to express your own feelings in a loving way. It is letting others know in a kind way what you expect from them.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Comments

Regina Chambers on April 09, 2021:

Very good article, it explains the

difference between the two meanings very well. Learning to be aggressive or assertive when one

Needs to be can help improve

Ones way of handling various

Situations in the right way.

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