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How to manage stress: 5 easy fearless tips on how to be assertive
Before, discussing how to be assertive and how to incorporate it into your daily life. It is important to understand the difference between assertiveness, aggression and passive-aggressive. Whilst people may progress through the three different types of communication the goal is to maintain an assertive style.
Some people will say passive-aggressive behavior is anger turned inwards. From my own experience people who are passive aggressive tend to be people who cannot properly express their feelings about a situation. On the surface, from my experience, they appear, very friendly and helpful. As you get to them they seem superficial and you begin to notice they cannot properly express their emotions and they tend to have emotional difficulties especially bouts of depression. If you raise an issue with them about their behavior they have difficulties acknowledging it. Instead they will either to opt to play the victim or provide a reason without taking responsibility. Overall, they are very aggravating and frustrating people to know causing you a lot of stress.
Again, using my own experience. Aggressive people tend to ignore other people's feelings and tend to focus on how to progress their agenda. From an interaction standpoint, they are demanding and only focus on their needs. They will make their failures your fault and try to get you to own their problem.
The hallmark between someone who is aggressive versus passive-aggressive, an aggressive person will not appear to be a 'people pleaser.' Instead an aggressive person will not be concerned about feelings or trying to please. Their focus is their goal and how to get you to help them achieve it without regards to your feelings.
The difference between being assertive, aggressive, and passive-aggressive, someone who is assertive will be accountable for their actions. They will not blame someone else and they will not seek excuses for their behavior. When speaking to someone about their behavior they will take into account other people's feelings and let the other person know how the behavior is impacting them.
5 Secrets to assertive behavior
1) Focus on the situation, not the past
Do not bring up irrelevant past events. Instead, focus on the specific behavior that is causing you concern and try to provide examples to support your concern.
2) Use 'I' + feeling statements
When discussing behavior use I statement, such 'I feel,' or 'I believe.' Where appropriate link the 'I' statement with how it makes you feel. For example, "When you said ..... I felt ..... If needed apologize and be accountable for your actions.
In a situation where you are being assertive you will be spending about 80% of your time listening. Let the other person have time to respond. If there is a period of awkward silence do not try to break it by saying something. Let it and let the individual continue when they are ready.
4) Seek Compromise
Being assertive means being able to understand your perspective while understanding the other person's point of view too. Wherever, possible seek compromise and seek a solution that is agreeable to the both of you.
5) Compliments goes a long way
Being assertive means being able to see the 'larger picture,' complimenting and saying positive things about the person will go a long way in helping you.
How assertiveness differs from passive-aggressiveness and aggressive behavior
As you can see from the above being assertive can help you progress your agenda. Unlike being aggressive being assertive means trying to seek a compromise, recognizing the other person's feelings, and working at complimenting them.
Likewise, assertiveness does not mean abandoning your viewpoint in order to please the other person nor does it mean trying to sabotage their work by trying to undermine it. Instead being assertive means being accountable for your actions, acknowledging when you could have done better, and finding a way forward.
Finally, being assertive means being ready to compromise and putting aside petty differences to advance the common good. In essence, being assertive is about a 'win-win,' scenario whereby everyone feels they have achieved something. This means being assertive is the ideal communication style to help manage stress and to help you develop positive relationships around you.