Being Assertive: Yay or Nay?

Building communication is not an easy thing. Have you ever said something that turned out to be misunderstood by others? Or, did someone feel offended by your words when you do not mean it? That’s because communication itself cannot satisfy all parties.

Also, not everyone can communicate openly and decisively without having to hurt the feelings of others. Therefore, assertive communication is needed to solve this problem. To find out more about this communication skill, and how to use it for your own good, get the answers below.

What Is Assertive Communication?

Assertive communication is the ability to express opinions effectively without having to look aggressive. In general, assertive people can communicate their opinions and feelings honestly, but their words do not make others feel patronized or demeaned.

Sure, applying this type of communication would make you an authentic person because “Yes” will always mean “Yes”, and so does for “No”. Even so, other people may not always agree or follow you, but at least they will trust you.

Characteristics of Assertive Communication Style

Specifically, the communication style refers to how you express feelings and thoughts through indirect messages and behavior. And in assertive communication, they usually show these following behaviors:

  1. Assertive personality can explain feelings and opinion clearly. And usually, their opinions are always accepted by related parties.
  2. Assertive people can express their opinions or feelings patiently, without intending to attack others.
  3. The firm is one of the communication styles occupied by an assertive character. But still, they also do not like to impose their will on others.
  4. When building good communication, assertive people only want to hold in clear and rational conditions.
  5. Assertive people always try to maintain the truth in their words. Although in the end, it may trigger conflict, they may still try to maintain the feelings of others.
  6. A positive approach is also another advantage of an assertive communicator. When faced with problems, they always put aside negative emotions that can complicate the problem.
  7. Confidence and open-minded are other good points of assertive people, which make them quite respected in their social network.
  8. Assertive personality is always open to receive feedback from others, both positive and negative.
  9. A positive and optimistic vision is always put forward by an assertive communicator.
  10. Known to be good at negotiating, assertive people always adhered to the concept of a win-win solution.

Assertive Communication Techniques

Having assertive communication to work effectively, you can apply the following techniques.

  • Learn to use proper body language. First, maintain your eye contact and then keep your posture relaxed. Also, be sure that your facial expressions are in line with the message delivered.
  • Always focus on the topic being discussed. Don’t focus on trying to blame or corner the other person.
  • When expressing some opinions, better use facts and not just assumptions.
  • If the topic is out of line, do a repetition of what you are discussing at that time. You have to do it to return the focus on the right dialogue.
  • Perform a fogging technique. Fogging is the ability of an assertive speaker to respond defensively, without making others feels rejected.
  • Before opening further discussion, give others time to calm down, especially if the discussion was tinged with heated debate.
  • Always maintain your intonation while conveying firmness. Thus, conflict can be avoided.

Why Being Assertive Important?

Being assertive may certainly give you many benefits. If you succeed in using it for your own good, that skill may help you in building a large social network. So, here are the reasons why this communication skill is very important to develop:

  • Assertiveness makes you not hesitate to ask for what you want. Most people don’t succeed in getting what they want just because they don’t dare to express it directly. Therefore, you need assertive communication skill.
  • Assertiveness also makes it easier for you to build a broad social network. By mastering an assertive communication style, you may easily build better relationships, whether with colleagues or in personal life.
  • Being assertive would also make you more confident and authentic. Sure, this skill will make you a true version of yourself.

Final Thoughts

If you do it properly, assertive communication can provide many benefits. For instance, with this communication style, you can build better relationships and be able to express opinions honestly.

However, the application of assertive communication can be conceptual. In certain situations, your assertive behavior may be considered as an act of aggressiveness by others. Even so, assertive communication is still a good choice for building a better personal or career life.

“To be passive is to let others decide for you. To be aggressive is to decide for others. To be assertive is to decide for yourself. And to trust that there is enough, that you are enough. “

—By Edith Eva Eger, in the book of The Choice: Embrace the Possible.