By now, you know that you must develop an assertive communication style in order to prevent bullying. But while it’s easy to make goals, actually achieving your goals is the hard part. Maybe you don’t know the first step, or any of the steps to become assertive. Or, perhaps you know what to do but have a hard time making yourself do it.
In this post, we will break down five of the major keys to becoming assertive to help you meet your goals of achieving an assertive communication style. Here are the five major keys we will discuss:
- Improving your self-esteem
- Standing up for yourself
- Setting positive expectations
- Practicing self-talk
Now, let’s take a closer look at what it takes to become assertive.
Improving your self-esteem
It’s one thing to know your rights as a person, but it can be hard for some people to actually believe that they deserve those rights. People with low self-esteem or self-worth have a hard time believing that they deserve anything at all. So when it comes time to ask for what they want, they don’t do it. They simply don’t think they deserve it. If this sounds familiar to you, it’s time to change.
Start with the understanding that the only opinion that matters is your opinion of yourself. Don’t worry about what other people think or say about you. Stop comparing yourself to people on TV, or even other people in your life for that matter. Comparing yourself to others will only make you unhappy. In order to improve your self-esteem, you must believe that you are good enough as you are.
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” That’s what it means to be persistent: To keep trying until you get it right. People with an assertive communication style don’t take “no” for an answer. They know their rights and won’t back down until their needs are met. I know what you’re probably thinking: “It’s hard enough just to ask for what I want one time, and you want me to keep asking over and over again?” The answer is, yes. Think about it, if you always take “no” as the final answer to your requests, why would anyone ever say “yes” to you?
There will be times when, no matter how many times you try, you just won’t get your way. Sometimes you may have to come to a compromise, or meet someone in the middle. And that’s okay, too, as long as you made your best effort and demonstrated some persistence.
Standing up for yourself
Nobody knows what you want better than you. Other people can’t read your mind, so it’s up to you to tell them what you want. You are your own best advocate. Assertive people are not afraid to share their opinion and defend it when someone else questions or criticizes them. They don’t allow others to take from them what is rightfully theirs, whether that be a promotion at work or the last piece of cake at the birthday party. If you find yourself struggling with this, ask yourself, “Why does that person deserve this any more than I do?”
Setting positive expectations
You only get out of life what you expect, not what you want. The difference is that if you simply want a certain life for yourself, you will wish your life away, while if you expect a certain life for yourself, you will do what it takes to meet those expectations. We’ve all heard the expression, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” The problem with this mindset is that it doesn’t allow you to believe in your aspirations or goals. If you don’t believe in your goals, you’re not very likely to achieve those goals.
An assertive person has the mindset, “I’ll see it when I believe it.” This idea uses the power of the self-fulfilling prophecy. In other words, you get what you expect out of life. If you expect bad things to happen, bad things are bound to happen. On the other hand, if you expect good things, good things will happen. What are your hopes and expectations? What do you really expect to happen in your life?
Self-talk is important in becoming assertive because it produces your expectations. In order to “see it when you believe it,” you need to picture the way you want things to be. Practice seeing these things in your mind until they become your beliefs. Eventually, your habits will begin to match your thoughts, bringing your expectations to life. Self-talk transforms your dreams into reality.
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