How to say “No,” set boundaries, communicate your own needs. Whatever your definition of assertiveness is, it’s crucial for your everyday life and even more so at work. Instead of wondering, if you’ll hurt anyone’s feelings by saying “no,” learn how to be assertive and reap the benefits!
– Even teamwork sometimes requires you to say “no” and think of your own comfort. There is nothing wrong with politely declining someone’s request for help. If you agree time and time again to do extra work, you can feel frustrated or even get discouraged from work. That’s why you really need to be assertive. It will help you be more efficient, as well as help with your self-confidence – says Marta Kamińska from Solutions.Rent.
Learn to accept compliments
“I got lucky” – how many times have you answered a praise from your colleague or perhaps even your boss like this? Instead of attributing your success to fate or luck, just admit that you earned it through hard work. When somebody compliments you – thank them. Don’t deny it. Accepting praise but also constructive criticism is the first step on the path towards learning assertiveness.
See also: 7 apps which help you build good habits
Have an honest conversation
Talk to someone close to you: your partner, a friend or a sibling. Be open and express your views and feelings honestly. If you manage to open up to someone close to you, it will be easier to communicate your needs at work. Try talking plainly and precisely. Stop “beating around the bush” or “flip-flopping!”
Don’t answer questions that make you uncomfortable
Whether your grandma asks you when are you going to get married, a friend asks how much you paid for your flat or a recruiter at a job interview asks if you have children – you don’t have to answer. We all know the question – answer pattern from our childhood, however in your adult life do not feel obliged to follow it. You can cut a conversation short by saying: “it’s personal,” or “I don’t want to talk about it,” or “I really don’t think it’s important right now.” Remember, your comfort in a conversation is just as important as your interlocutor’s.
Don’t look for excuses
A client calls late at night, your boss wants you to stay overtime again and your friend has planned a trip you really don’t want to go on? You don’t have to come up with excuses on the fly. All you have to do is to honestly, but politely, express your opinion about the idea. Remember to use the word “no” in your communication – it is best to express your unwillingness to do what you are asked.
Think of your own comfort
You can learn to be assertive even while commuting. Someone is talking on the phone too loud, didn’t wear a mask or maybe they failed to offer their seat to an elderly person? It is ok to express your opinion! Do not insult anybody, but rather calmly explain what is wrong to the other commuter. Quite often such a short exchange of views and opinions can make everybody’s day better.
Extend your vocabulary
In many cases being assertive requires the use of such phrases as “in my opinion,” “I believe that,” “I see your point,” “I think” or “What do you think?” Remember these phrases when somebody asks you for a favor again. Your vocabulary can be a powerful tool.
Did you know…
There is an assertiveness technique called jujitsu which is all about resisting another person’s requests. By using proper messages you are showing this person that you respect their opinion, but you still refuse because it is your right. No pressure.
The broken record
One of the effective assertive refusal techniques is the so-called broken record. If someone asks you for the same thing over and over again and you don not want to give in – instead of getting angry – just repeat your message. You can modify it if you please, but it is important to keep it’s essence. You don’t have to make up arguments or excuses anymore. All you have to do is to stick to your guns.
Assertiveness helps build self-confidence, helps you learn how to compromise and how to express your needs. Even if at first it may seem difficult to learn new skill, just take a deep breath and don’t give up. You’ll see it’s worth it!
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