Do you need to be more Assertive

 Tue, 4th May, 2021

12 Helpful Skills of Assertiveness.

Do you communicate in an Assertive , Aggressive or Passive way ?   
Do you feel you have the ability to express positive and negative ideas and feelings in an open, honest and direct way.
Can you  recognise your own rights whilst still respecting the rights of others.
What are your  fears around being more assertive ? 
Do you feel you need to overcome self- limiting Beliefs and build on the skills to communicate more confidently with others.  

Some of the questions that we wonder about often  : 
Another question is ,What is Assertiveness ? It is often confused with Aggressiveness.
We often misuse the word assertive , we all have an idea about what we think it means.
Just stop and take a pause for a moment here and think about what “assertive” means to you. See can you come up with your own definition and what do you think it is ?
 What definition did you come up with ?  Did it describe you standing up for yourself?

Well done as this is the aspect of assertiveness which most people are familiar with.Other ways of describing Assertive are Speaking your mind , being able to tell people how you feel or what you think.

Most of us get it wrong in one of two ways when they try to be assertive: 

  • We may come across too weakly. 
  • We make it too easy for the other person to discount our  message.
  • We often  come across too strongly,  more aggressive than assertive.
  • When we come across too strong, the other person often becomes too hurt or too defensive to listen.   
  • When the other person's defenses rise, our message gets lost.
  • The skill we need to develop and learn ,  is to able to say what we  need to say in a way that is appropriate to the setting, situation, and people involved (not too strongly or weakly), so that individual can process your message without their defenses being ignited. 
  • Keep in mind that talking to a defensive person is like talking to an inanimate object. Your message will not get through.
  • When you handle things effectively and with confidence , your stress levels go right down.
  • Are you a person who struggles with being Assertive  when you  have to do something you find particularly difficult

Here at Midlands Mental Health Clinic we believe that you have to make some changes in your life and learn the Skills of  Assertiveness .

What are The Skills:

1.    In order to be a better communicator and increase our  confidence we firstly need to be aware of what we are feeling in the middle of a difficult, intense situation. Pause now and think about how do you feel when you  are in an uncomfortable or confronting situation ? 
2. As individuals who find it difficult to be assertive we often struggle with responding to praise and compliments, as we  may feel inadequate or that the positive comments are not justified. 
3. Acknowledge your own feelings and ideas and remember that they are valid and worthy of expression.
4. Learn to think about your responses and how you behave when you communicate with others.
5. Remember to manage your feelings, as often we may be operating from emotions such as hurt or anger . These may be combined with an endless possible number of other feelings which may be from our past .
6 .Often our biggest difficulty is putting our feelings into words. So it’s important to learn this skill.
7. Another important skill is being clear what you want , and repeating what you want, time and time again, without raising the tone of your voice, becoming angry, irritated. Make sure not to get sidetracked  with other issues person brings up.
8. It’s important to understand the other person or people involved, imagining how it’s likely they feel, and why.
9. Assertiveness is expressing your thoughts, emotions, beliefs and opinions in an honest and appropriate way taking into account the situation and setting. 
10.If we have feelings of low self-esteem or self-worth this often leads to an individuals dealing with other people in a passive way.
11.Take every opportunity to stand up for yourself, as best you can. If you miss a chance, review it afterward to determine what you wish you had done. The more often you do this, the more you will learn, and the easier assertiveness will become for you.
12. Assertiveness is not about ‘winning’ or achieving something at the expense of anyone else. It is a matter of communicating clearly and effectively.

As you can see from the 12  steps above assertiveness requires not just skill, but a variety of different sources and skills. This is why if it’s hard for you, you are not alone
‘ Change is Possible’ and the good news is that it is  possible to build your assertiveness skills. 
It is possible to Build Your Assertiveness Skills  by taking some action and taking that first step such as learning how to pay more attention to your feelings . 

Midlands Mental Health Clinic are providing you with some tools to help such as:
1 Download our free booklet Simple Steps to Better Mental Health.
2 Contact us today to find out how we can help you , as we offer Counseling and Psychotherapy .
3 Enlist on our Assertiveness Skills Training Course  at Midlands Mental Health Clinic , Mullingar . Details later ,  Mullingar , 10am to 1pm (Half Day €30)