ASSERTIVENESS-A Simple Stress Relief Mechanism
Your friend has a bad habit of always asking you for money. Every time he goes out, he borrows a few dollars from you. You were happy to help him out at first, but now it’s starting to get slightly annoying. You work hard to earn your salary, while your friend borrows your money to do nothing productive, and hangs out at the pub all day. You suggest him to get a part-time job, but he prefers to stick to his indolence. So what do you do? You can continue being his pot of gold, and lend him money every time he asks for it- basically hurt your own self instead of hurting him. You can also express your anger, tell him to stop treating you like an ATM booth, and end up hurting him. Or you could open up to him, using a neutral tone, about how you’re worried about his bad habit, and negotiate to form a better arrangement where no one is left hurt.
Assertiveness is a method of communication where a person is self-assured and confident, without being arrogant or aggressive. In the scenario mentioned above, the best thing to do is to open up, or otherwise, be assertive. As a result, you will end up with a deal that involves both of you having a smile on your faces, in the end. Assertiveness should be a congenital trait that every human being should possess, but unfortunately it isn’t. Why is yours truly so fond of assertiveness? Well, below are some problems you are likely to face, if you’re not assertive:
Less self-confidence- If you’re always agreeing with others despite your own personal feelings, you will never learn to speak up. Not being able to speak up is a sign of weakness, and it shows your lack of confidence.
People are going to take you for granted- Being kind is a wonderful thing, but kindness should always be balanced with vigilance. Always saying “yes” for the sake of being nice will eventually lead to people taking advantage of your kindness.
Hamper relationships- People often confuse assertiveness with aggressiveness. When you’re trying to speak up, don’t use a harsh tone, because that will only hurt or annoy the person you’re speaking to. If you let your anger consume you, you will probably end up ruining your relationship with that person.
Increased stress- Your boss won’t stop assigning you to do something in hourly intervals, and the work just keeps piling up? Well, if you don’t assert yourself, you will just drown in a sea of superfluous workload. You have to be able to say “no” once in a while, to reduce any extra stress.
By now, you’ve probably realized how assertiveness can contribute to a better and stress-free life. In case you’re wondering how to develop assertiveness, then no worries! Here are some simple tips to get you going:
Be expressive- There is no need to hesitate while pointing out your issues, as long as you’re being respectful while doing so. Don’t let emotions get the upper hand, and maintain a neutral state of mind. Remember to be confident while voicing your thoughts, and people will respect you and see you in a whole new different light.
Accept criticism- Keep in mind that it’s okay to make mistakes, and then ask for help. Do not render any feedback useless, because they usually aren’t. The ability to be welcoming to constructive criticism will only help you to grow as a person.
Agree to disagree- Not everyone will think the same way as you, and having different point of views does not mean that you are right and the other person is wrong. Being assertive means accepting different perspectives, as it will let you view a problem from different angles, and hence reach the solution quickly.
And last but not least, the most important point of all,
Patience- Assertiveness is a skill and it requires a lot of practice and hard work. You won’t just develop it overnight. Some days it will be easier to be assertive than it will be in others. You just have to be patient, because good things always come to those who practice patience.