What is assertiveness? It is the power of controlling one’s body language to communicate and initiate. When I use the phrase “asserting” I am not talking about physically asserting something or someone, but a mental attitude I use that communicates what I want. It has to do with knowing how to make subtle body language appear authoritative while actually not, which is called the power of non-verbal communications.
Many people have the idea that assertiveness means shouting, or being aggressive. That is not true at all. Assertiveness is actually the state of being confident and self-reliant without feeling aggressive or dominating. In the world of hypnotherapy and clinical psychology, it’s a highly skilled skill that is learned and in this case, a learned skill that is used to communicate and create change. Most people who are assertive do so without feeling angry, they do it because it benefits them in a variety of ways including helping them gain control over their emotions, feelings, and reactions.
When you start to think about how to use assertiveness to change the way you feel about yourself and others, then you may need to learn how to do a broken record. This is where you have an underlying message that you’re not needy and therefore, people will not take you seriously unless you show that you are needy. You may need to reword some things so that it makes more sense. Something like “I’m just saying what I feel in order to let you know that I’m concerned about your feelings and I’m here to help.” Instead of “I need you to take action,” say, “I’m concerned that you aren’t taking action and I’m here to help you do that.”
When you want people to take you seriously and change their behavior, you can begin by changing how you interact with them in the first place. Most people who exhibit assertiveness don’t do so out of malicious intent; instead, they do so out of caring about the feelings of the person that they’re talking to. They may not even realize that they’re doing it. If you can find ways to point across this aggression, though, you’ll find that assertive behavior will be more natural to you, and you’ll be able to do it without anyone’s help.
When you are assertive, you will need to determine what kind of assertiveness you need to be most effective. Some people are comfortable with direct confrontational techniques, and they tend to be the loudest and most obnoxious people you’ll encounter. Other people prefer to put their needs aside and talk to them in a soothing, supportive voice. Of course, assertiveness can also come in the form of indirect aggression, which is a little more subtle but no less powerful.
You can use your assertiveness in a positive way and yet still practice self-confidence at the same time. By putting your needs aside and saying only what you need to say, you can put yourself in a place where you are not always fighting for what you want, which can lead to depression. Remember, though, that you are using your assertiveness in a manner which is only meant to help you. If your goals are not met, then don’t take your anger out on the people who are trying to help you. Instead, acknowledge the help and continue to work toward your own goals.