How To Be More Assertive

Many of the clients I talk with are having issues in their personal or work relationships because they find it difficult to express their wants and needs.

Assertiveness in personal relationships is vital for building healthier connections, and assertiveness in the workplace improves professional relationships, collaboration, and the setting of expectations.

When we are passive communicators, we have difficulty voicing our needs and avoid expressing opinions. As a result, we sacrifice our own desires to avoid what we perceive would be conflict. However, this frequently results in feelings of resentment due to feeling like you are being treated unfairly.

The other end of the scale is those who assert themselves at the expense of others, becoming loud and aggressive which only leads to an environment of tension and hostility. Finding a middle ground in the form of assertiveness has many benefits, such as improved communication and reducing the chance of misunderstanding.

Assertiveness can be empowering as while expressing yourself genuinely, you will improve your confidence and self-esteem as you earn respect from others. This means you will be more equipped to set boundaries and respect other boundaries which is crucial for healthy relationships.

Developing assertiveness requires self-awareness. It’s important to be clear on your values, needs, and feelings. Using “I” statements is very powerful as it focuses on your perspective rather placing blame on others. Just as important is practicing active listening skills as this will demonstrate respect.

There are many reasons we struggle to be assertive. These may be worrying about pleasing others, fear of rejection, being sensitive to criticism, or being hurt by previous experiences where our ideas or opinions were ignored or rejected.

I can help you explore your fears around being assertive and support you to gain the confidence you are seeking.

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Donna Douglas

Your Calm Caring Compassionate Counsellor

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