Assertiveness: how to develop assertiveness?
Written by: Loris Vitry (coach and Yoga teacher)
Validated by: Cathy Maillot (Osteopath)
Caution: If you have any medical questions or concerns, please speak to your doctor. Even if the articles on this site are based on scientific studies, they do not replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Assertiveness is a concept introduced by the American psychologist Andrew Salter which designates the capacity for an individual to express himself, to defend his rights without infringing on those of others.
Developed since the first half of the 20th century, this concept continues to be poorly understood by most people.
The American psychiatrist and medical professor Joseph Wolpe also studied this concept and defined it as: “free expression of all emotions towards a third party, except anxiety”.
We can therefore observe that according to these definitions, assertiveness is closely related to self-confidence, assertiveness and freedom of expression.
However, in this world where many currents of thought reign, where some would seek to impose their way of thinking on others, assertiveness is a real challenge.
How to develop assertiveness to better assume?
We will give some rules to follow in order to get there.
Love and self-respect
Long before looking at those around you, the most important work begins within you.
You can’t love and respect your neighbor if you don’t love yourself.
So to love yourself, you must first accept yourself as you are physically and mentally and above all have an unshakeable confidence in yourself no matter the situation.
One trick that works almost always is to always highlight your strengths and focus mainly on your strengths.
And it has been proven that a person who usually thinks and speaks well of himself, ends up no longer taking into account the derogatory remarks of others and rationally, no longer has to bear the stress generated by these toxic remarks.
We will therefore see these people very sure of themselves and giving off a certain charisma.
Self-respect implies respecting one’s convictions, respecting one’s thoughts, respecting one’s principles, respecting one’s beliefs …
It is also being able to stand up and speak out loud what you really think without being afraid or ashamed of being judged or rejected.
Accept your neighbor without trying to change him
The next one represents the entourage but also all the people that we will have the opportunity to meet.
This is a vast collection of many personalities that will have to be accepted and respected.
To develop assertiveness in the face of certain unpleasant behaviors, it is wise to put yourself in the shoes of others, try to understand and justify the wrong committed.
Certainly, it is not easy to understand certain acts, but a enslaved person must be able to take into account the differences that exist between humans and accept his neighbor.
We can blame it for certain things, get it to question itself, but never change it without its will or by influence.
Assertiveness also means that we can have a fairly open mind: open to know that people think differently.
Thus, we will have to work to be able to accept the thoughts and convictions of others without judging them, nor changing them into our own thoughts and convictions.
Accept constructive remarks with greatness
Being enslaved does not mean being proud and endowed with an oversized ego.
It’s actually about having confidence in yourself, but also knowing that you are not perfect.
In this state of mind, we will be more receptive to constructive comments from others and not stress about being criticized.
Criticism could come from bigger than us or even from smaller, it doesn’t matter as long as it helps us improve.
The most important thing here would therefore be to be able to distinguish between constructive remarks that generate continuous improvement and destructive comments that generate unnecessary stress.
These remarks will not only come from others but also from yourself.
A enslaved person must be able to question himself, to question himself about his acts committed.
Afterwards, there will be no point in making guilt; if we can fix our mistake we fix it, but if not, it can help us learn lessons and become a better person over time.
Knowing how to manage your emotions in any situation
A enslaved person is a moderate person who seeks a happy medium.
She is neither passive nor angry, she manages to control her emotions, does not get carried away by them and manages to do what needs to be done when it is needed.
In the face of anger, for example, she manages to show patience and serenity.
A person who wants to be enslaved must work a lot on this very delicate side.
This person can first take a step back and then analyze the situation so as not to commit acts to regret later.
Also, in the face of contempt or lack of respect, this person must be able to not let go without saying anything.
A enslaved person must be able to say “no” to certain actions without becoming angry.
She must be able to denounce disrespectful behavior and claim her rights out loud.
Always adopting respectful language and a friendly tone, the enslaved person must fight to feel good without hurting others.
To conclude, in order to develop assertiveness, it is very important to first have developed a calm relationship with your own emotions, as well as positive thinking.
Indeed, our inappropriate and conflicting reactions are generally linked to tensions or even our chromatisms caused by our emotions.
One little trick that works quite well is to take a deep breath and ask yourself when faced with situations or difficulties “how am I feeling?”
You can do it directly in front of the situation or a little afterwards, then adding, “what did I need at the moment?”.
As you gradually learn to listen to yourself, you become naturally calm, with less stress and therefore assertive.
In some more complex cases, additional work is necessary to free oneself from certain recalcitrant tensions (frustrations, anger, jealousy, etc.).
And to be completely assertive, you will have to fight to have a relationship as comfortable as possible with those around you.
Being able to accept others and their thoughts, convictions and beliefs without necessarily wanting to change them is without a doubt the key to successful human relationships.