9 strategies to be more assertive

Social skills are those skills and strategies that we put into practice every day in order to communicate successfully with the people around us and to establish functional, stable and adaptive relationships, known and unknown. Therefore, they are constantly applied in all kinds of situations, both at work and in private life.

One of the most important social skills that exist is assertiveness, a quality that helps us to express ourselves directly and to defend our interests and points of view while respecting our interlocutors and trying to bring them to their attention. ease in any communicative exchange with us. Fortunately, this skill can be trained and learned through the use of assertiveness strategies.

    What is assertiveness?

    Self-assertion is the ability that allows anyone correctly express negative and positive feelings, ideas, views or opinionsrespectfully and without aggression or hostility of any kind towards your interlocutor.

    It is one of the most important social skills, as it helps us communicate successfully with people in our environment both personally and professionally and allows us to assert our opinions or viewpoints even if we encounter opposition. . Being assertive involves daring to say what needs to be said, even if it can be difficult.

    Assertiveness allows us to be direct and say things clearly when communicating or to participate in debates, talks and even discussions of all kinds, without giving in to the fear of making mistakes or being judged by our opinions.

    In addition to this, this ability gives anyone who has it the ability to project their voice correctly, to speak with an adequate volume of voice, with ease, consistency and cohesion in speech, because the assertive person does not always give in to what ‘She is. supposed to be expected of her.

    In cases where the person has a low level of assertiveness, they experience great difficulty in expressing themselves correctly. Fortunately, there are a number of strategies, guidelines, and tips we can follow to train our assertiveness and be more assertive with the environment around us.

      What are the main strategies we can follow to be more assertive?

      These are the main general guidelines that psychology professionals recommend to improve our assertiveness.

      1. Establish our priorities

      One of the first tips we can follow to improve or train our assertiveness is to establish or organize our own priorities or core values ​​that need to be highlighted in a conversation before it takes place, especially s This is an important conversation.

      A good way to do this exercise is to write on a piece of paper everything that needs to be mentioned in the conversation: both interests and goals, values ​​or beliefs, and sort them all according to their importance to us.

      It will help us organize our thoughts, form what we want to say, and have a pattern we can follow in case we get lost during the conversation we’re in.

        2. Learn to say “No”

        Knowing how to say “no” to someone is one of the essential skills possessed by people who have a good level of assertiveness. People with low levels of assertiveness find it hard to say “no” or even bring up anything controversial, even if it’s important.

        To overcome this problem, we can perform a series of daily exercises. One of the most useful that we can put into practice is offer to say “No” at least a certain number of times a week.

        This exercise will help us to have an objective limitation that will help us see stagnation, setbacks or advances in our ability to say “No”, and will also allow us to adjust this number according to the difficulty and challenge that he poses (without it being very difficult or very easy).

          3. Work on non-verbal language

          In the realm of social interactions, non-verbal communication is almost as important as the speech we convey to the other person; that’s why al To defend our position or our approach, it is necessary to adopt appropriate non-verbal language.

          Some of the tips that we can follow to achieve this goal can be to maintain a relaxed body posture at all times, avoiding having the body tilted, crossing the arms or not looking into the eyes.

          The body posture we adopt when faced with a discussion or conversation can project information we don’t want or feelings that don’t match our state of mind, such as fear or submission. This is why it is so valuable to pay attention to our non-verbal language. In addition, maintaining a correct posture will help us to trust ourselves.

            4. Avoid constant excuses

            People who have low levels of assertiveness tend to continually apologize for everything, which is one of the most reliable indicators for detecting low assertiveness in anyone.

            When we have a conversation or discussion of any kind, we must avoid apologizing for expressing how we feel and know that our opinion is as valid as anyone else’s.

            5. Work on active listening

            Active listening is another essential skill shared by people with a good level of assertiveness, because no communication can be satisfactory without listening to what the other has to say and adapting their speech accordingly.

            Active listening involves pay close attention to what the other person is saying and establish true understanding regarding their intentions (and showing that we are listening). Moreover, it also brings authority: we do not speak unilaterally, and therefore we hope to receive the same treatment.

            In addition, we must avoid interrupting the other person in order to respect their turn to speak and to have greater legitimacy in the defense of our positions.

              6. Be straightforward

              Express clearly and directly how we feel, without hesitation and by noting from the outset the main points of our argumentsis another of the basic characteristics of any assertive person.

              This is why it is so important to have clear and organized ideas that we are going to present, so sometimes it is advisable to write down what we are going to say, or to rehearse and practice our speech in advance, either mentally or out loud in front of a mirror.

              7. Start by dealing with less difficult situations

              To train our assertiveness skills and especially if we struggle to do so successfully, it is essential to deal with easier situations at firstfor example, being more assertive with family and trusted friends.

              It will help us to form our skills with knowledge with which we will not feel so much fear or insecurity and with which we will be able to gain self-confidence.

              8. Train our public speaking skills

              Public speaking skills can be trained by psychologists and other experts in the field, and once learned will allow us to be much more assertive with our surroundings.

              The most important speaking skills are usually: correct diction, adequate speaking volume, fluent speech and self-confidence.

              9. If necessary, go to therapy

              In psychotherapy, it is possible to train key skills associated with assertiveness, such as managing stress or improving self-esteem.

              If you are interested in starting such a process, please contact us; Fr Cepsim Psychological Center We can help you.

              Bibliographic references

              • Horse, V. (1983). Social skills training and assessment manual. Madrid: Acronym XXI.
              • Suripatty, L. (2021). The importance of assertive leadership style in school organizational development. International Journal of Research-Based Education, 3(1), 8-13.

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