Assertiveness is one of the key life skills that are very important especially in a social as well as communication skills training.
If you are assertive, you are able to stand up for yourself or for other individuals in a more calm and positive way without necessarily being aggressive. Hence assertiveness enables you to deliver your point or message across without annoying others and also without upsetting yourself.
Logically, you should learn and keep improving your knowledge on the various ways to improve your assertiveness in order to reduce those stressful times when you feel upset or just generally wound up.
Here are the best main ways to improve your assertiveness that can lead to improvement of your confidence when dealing with other individuals.
Maintain distance and personal space
Everyone has personal space limits (which vary from person to person) and you should make sure that people keep yours too.
In every social place, it is very important to ensure that people who come near you shouldn’t invade your personal space because it is a passive aggressive behavior that can be considered to be very manipulative. Preferably without you just glaring at them!
It’s always worth setting your boundaries either through the verbal or non-verbal means so as to get away from the uncomfortable feelings that can otherwise occur and sometimes cause you to become upset. For instance, you can gently take a step backwards so as to increase a distance and give yourself space.
Fogging is a situation whereby you agree with everything that other people are saying but aren’t allowing it to get into you.
This helps to avoid the effect of criticism from other because their comments can cause a feeling of being uncomfortable.
For instance, you can agree by saying a thing like “oh yeah, you’re right, I always have an issue in matching my dress with my handbag.”
The use of fogging technique helps you to see criticism as feedback rather than upsetting you.
Which means that one way to improve your assertiveness is by using a simple fogging technique on it, letting the criticism ride over you but not getting involved with what is said.
In addition, fogging is mainly a way to avoid verbal attack by showing your critics that you are more confident.
Maintaining eye contact
Maintaining eye contact when talking or socializing with other makes your listeners feel that you respect them, hence making you feel more confident.
It follows that you should stop glancing nervously around when you are talking with others (or even avoiding eye contact altogether) so that you avoid looking shifty or just as though you don’t care or respect what other people are telling you.
Besides, you should also be careful when maintaining eye contact because it may look as if you are staring them out hence leading to more trouble than you initially thought. It’s a fine line between being distracted and being overly attentive.
Maintain proper posture and body language
You should always maintain a posture that makes you look more confident when talking with others.
For instance, if you slouch down you will look physically smaller and others may consider you as less confident, lazy or even shy.
A really quick way to improve your assertiveness is to stand upright, make yourself comfortable and maintain a steady pace when entering a room. This usually makes you feel more confident and assertive to others.
Maintain a good tone of voice
When someone is nervous, their voice usually goes up and down when speaking to others which makes their voice not particularly good to listen to and also weakens the points they’re making.
To avoid this kind of problem and improve your overall assertiveness, you need to take a deep breath so as to calm down and gain more confidence which helps you to offer a clear and audible voice to other.
If this isn’t a strong point for you, It’s worth practicing at home – ideally in front of a mirror – until you’re happier with the result.
Place value on your time
You should always value your time as well as time for others.
For instance, if you lack respect for the time of other people by being late for meetings, other people will be less likely to respect you.
Being a consistent time waster tends to decrease your self-worth.
In turn, that can lead to low self-confidence and decrease your assertiveness.
It doesn’t take much more effort to respect your time as well as the time of other people. This will help to maintain respect and self-worth and – along with the other factors mentioned earlier – lead to an improvement in your assertiveness.
You should realize that people are all different and respond differently when exposed to others.
By working on improving your assertiveness, you can get what you want more often without appearing too pushy.