Most people who have low confidence or self esteem want to be assertive. They want people to listen when they talk and actually hear what they have to say. They often assume that other people find it easy to be assertive – that they are aggressive, almost. They also feel that being assertive means being strong enough to give your opinion to others – whether they want it or not.
In reality, most people go through stages of feeling anxious or nervous in some situations. The difference between these people and those who suffer from low esteem and confidence – the first group of people have the confidence to fake it; they can act confident even if they’re not feeling confidence or assured.
Being assertive can often be mistaken as being aggressive, by those who have issues with confidence and esteem. However, an assertive person is really just someone who has learnt the skills needed to openly communicate their feelings, needs, wants and thoughts, clearly and with confidence – whilst also acknowledging the needs of others. An aggressive person really doesn’t care what the other person is feeling – physically or emotionally.
So, how can being assertive actually help you boost your self confidence and self esteem? Well, in reality they are all interlinked – help one and you help the others. Common elements to help you boost these areas in your life include:
- Creating positive boundaries – know where these are and you are more able to communicate them to others
- Use of body language – acting confident and assured can make a huge difference to how others see you
- Tone of voice – if you speak in a timid voice you will be either ignored or walked over. Practice sounding confident
- Watch the language you use – keep it positive and don’t use negative words when describing yourself or what you are talking about. Don’t keep apologizing either!
- Saying thank you – thank yourself and others for their input; it will make their day and yours!
- Behavior – do you worry what others will think of you? Do you think you are being selfish? Well this will all show in your behavior, so stop worrying!
- Saying ‘no’ – keep it brief and to the point – and be honest. As you already know, the first time is the hardest. If necessary, repeat your statement in a calm, soft, persistent manner. Remember, you are rejecting the request – not the person. If you explain why you have said ‘no’; there really isn’t much more you can say and the other person chooses how they perceive this.
- Positive attitude – a ‘can do’ attitude, along with a positive outlook helps lift your mood and outlook, as well as helping others lift theirs. It also helps you attract others to you and makes them want to listen to what you have to say.
Being assertive is having confidence in your opinions – as well as others. It is about believing in yourself and believing that you matter as much as the next person; and so does everyone else. It is well known that you should treat others how you expect to be treated – however, you have to be able to treat yourself in the same manner. After all, if you treat yourself with respect, others will respect you and you will command respect too.