Written by by Sofie – Fri 10 Feb 2012
“Never feel bad for being assertive, speaking your mind, and putting your foot down. What you think is anger, others see as a good solid display of self-esteem. ” - Alison James
This guest post from our Assertiveness & Confidence Building trainer Sofie explains how assertiveness leads to improved self-confidence. The full 2-day workshop covers techniques for confidence building and boosting self esteem.
It is important to note that being assertive is not about being aggressive.
Assertiveness is a form of positive communication that can be learnt and applied to all areas of your life. It is the skill of knowing and defending your rights but at the same time understanding that others have rights too.
When someone is asserting themselves their primary focus should be on reaching a joint solution, which meets the needs of both people involved. In other words ‘I’m OK and you’re OK’. It is not about getting angry or making someone bow to your demands. This type of aggressive communication is manipulative and threatening and not at all considerate of other people. Equally other non-assertive ways to communicate include passive and passive-aggressive behaviours.
Passive behaviour is displayed when someone allows their self to be compromised to the point where their needs are not being met at all. In other words they will allow the rights of other people to be more important than their own. If this style of communication continues and that person is pushed to their limit they may explode into aggressive behaviour; unlike passive-aggressive behaviour, where the communicator’s words and actions don’t match. For instance the words are positive but the body language is aggressive. This can be very confusing for others to interpret and understand and can often leave relationships fractured and hard to mend. Worst of all this type of non-assertive communication can have a detrimental impact on ones self-esteem.
On the Assertiveness and Confidence Building course at Silicon Beach Training we talk about how to maintain healthy relationships with others by communicating in an assertive and confident way. When we communicate honestly and clearly we learn to reduce stress and anxiety and deal with matters that bother us as they arise, rather than leaving them to build up over time and turn into something much worse than they are. If we behave in an aggressive or passive way for a long period of time it can have a serious impact on our mental and physical health. This can lead to time off work, difficulties maintaining healthy relationships, avoidance tactics and not being understood by others, thereby not being treated with the respect you deserve.
Here are some top tips on how to communicate assertively and confidently and keep your mind and body healthy:
If you follow these steps when you need to give some feedback, challenge someone’s behaviour, say no, deal with conflict or just want to get your point across you will notice a huge difference with how confident you feel and as a result your self-esteem should just get better and better!