Top Tips for Assertively Standing Up for Yourself
You probably already know that it’s good to be assertive. But, it’s not always easy to stand up for yourself, especially when there is conflict, or it feels risky. You can try dialing down the risk and build your assertiveness muscles in the way you deal with the dozens, if not hundreds, of small decisions you make every day. Think of all the times you choose to stand in your power or to go with the flow. Here are some top tips to help you stand up for yourself every day.
1. Start small
If you feel less than confident about being assertive, take baby steps at first. You can start by adjusting your posture to a more confident shoulder back and chin up stance, that says to the world ‘take me seriously.’ If you’re a serial apologizer, try removing ‘sorry’ from your everyday personal dictionary and save it for when an apology is warranted.
Resolve to try being more assertive at every opportunity. You probably know that it takes time and preparation to form new habits, with the latest research saying 66 days is the magic number. Schedule a reminder in your calendar, and practice asserting your needs daily for 66 days until it becomes automatic for you.
Maybe you’ve got a difficult meeting or conversation coming up, or there are some situations which always make you feel anxious and small. Try imagining the scene and write yourself a script where you stay in your power. Work out what feels right for you and try it the next time such a situation arises.
4. Practice patience
You might find that your new assertiveness provokes negative responses in people who are used to you being compliant. It’s a good practice to stay calm but assertive if they try to override you. Don’t react or be defensive, count to ten and stay in your power.
5. Be clear
When you’re standing up for yourself, it’s important to be very clear about your position and to avoid infusing it with emotion. Be straightforward and say what you want without being passive-aggressive or indirect.
6. Practice saying no
When you’re clear about what you want and what you don’t want, saying No politely but firmly becomes a whole lot easier. Work out what’s important to you and don’t leave room for doubt in the mind of the asker. Saying no doesn’t make you a mean or rude person, it’s a sign of strength and certainty, and everyone will know where they stand.
Criticism- Why It Hurts and What to Do About It
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Unkind – Stop People Pleasing
A friend calls in the middle of the night. They’re stranded on the other side of town. They not only need you to come to get them, but they also require you to go right now, out into the pouring rain, at 3:00 am.
What do you do?
If you’re a people pleaser, you have your coat on before you even hang up the phone. After all, it’s the nice thing to do. The problem comes when it’s not in your best interests to help out. What if it’s raining and you’ve been down with the flu? What if you don’t have enough gas in the car to do the favor and still get to work tomorrow?
What about the fact that you know full well that their sister lives three blocks from where they happen to be stranded and they only called you because they know you’re a pushover? Ask yourself, is it ever wrong to take care of yourself first? Let’s face it – sometimes you simply can’t afford to be ‘nice.’
From the time that we’re small, we’re told to share, and ‘be nice.’ We hear it so frequently that we become hard-wired to think of the needs of other people before we think of our own.
While it’s admirable to have an unselfish attitude, there’s a big difference between being ‘nice’ and people taking advantage of you. When we find that we’re going out of the way for others to our detriment, it becomes clear that something needs to change.
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