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How Can I Be More Assertive?

Group Therapy: How Can I Be More Assertive?

This question is from Group Therapy in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

I am a meek person. I often get called a pushover. I admire people who are able to talk openly with others. I have to admit that I do have problems expressing myself and feelings, especially anger. I want to be bold! I want to be assertive and be able to be real about the way I feel and not care too much if I'm going to hurt someone's feelings or they are going to judge me. Cause in the end I'm the one that ends up upset. What can I do in my life to improve myself, so that I can be comfortable with speaking my mind and being a better me?

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Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 7 years
I think being assertive is directly related to being confident, I'm glad you recognize that. Maybe you just need a confidence boost: get your hair done, buy some sexy lingerie, start a work-out program or take some recreational evening classes (as in dance, cooking, crafts). Focus on your good qualities, instead of the bad. And don't expect results right away, it took me a couple years as a teen to go from meek to outgoing and assertive. Honestly, I feel more comfortable with assertive people than meek people. It's like, "She disagrees with me but I respect her because I know where she stands... I like being around her," versus "She never disagrees with me, I bet she thinks I'm rude and unapproachable... I better avoid her." The internet is a great place to practice being more assertive, this site in particular because there's a lot of friendly debate.
luvbug08fr luvbug08fr 7 years
thank you. i understand that this will not be easy for me but its something that i want to accomplish and be comfortable with. and maybe it will become easier with age. i like to be able to take part in group conversations and have a real argument without getting bummed out because i didn't say exactly what i wanted, because i will often fumble over my words. that also has to do with confidence. i do thank you all...
jazzytummy jazzytummy 7 years
I am very assertive as well, as my career has dictated it. I agree with others who say start with small things. Sometimes all being assertive is is expressing an opinion. Sometimes it is disagreeing with someone. Sometimes it is standing firm to get what you want either personally or professionally. The most important thing about being assertive however, is knowing WHEN to be, and when you need to keep your mouth shut and listen. People that are constantly interjecting their opinions with no regard for others are just bores and people quickly learn to ignore them. You never want to be in this position. If you can, watch people that you admire and whose opinions you respect, and see how they interact with others. It is all about standing firm, yet retaining respect for the other person, even if you disagree. It is also important in a disagreement to keep your emotions in check as much as possible....if someone gets into your face and disagrees, stand your ground and don't back down and cry....seriously, women do this all of the time, and your credibility is then shot to hell. You also need to know what you are talking of my biggest pet peeves is to listen to someone run on with his opinion about a topic, when it is obvious he doesn't really have any idea what he is talking about. Again, sign of a bore. If you don't have the juice to back up your statement, keep your mouth shut and learn for the next time. I would also add that someone may not like you if you disagree with him. You have to learn to be ok with not being liked by everyone that you know. People will learn to respect you if you stand up for yourself and if you treat others with respect.
MissSushi MissSushi 7 years
I think the hardest part is not letting their reactions make you give up, especially family and coworkers. People HATE when someone they push around speaks up, and they will do their absolute best to belittle you into giving in. I grew up and stopped it, and my mother is still miserably letting my family mow her down.
chequettex chequettex 7 years
I used to be less assertive - a former manager even brought it up to me an as issue I needed to deal with at work! What really has pushed me to become more assertive is my current job, which causes me to deal with aggressive and rude people on a daily basis, and it's my job to diffuse the situation and not let them have their way. It's difficult at first to speak up, but as MissSushi said, start small. One issue at a time, one person at a time. Don't beat yourself up when you fail to be assertive - just decide what you what have done differently and resolve to put your foot down the next time you're in a similar situation. Practice what you're going to say. In each situation, take a deep breath before you start to speak, and decide in that moment to be bold and make sure your point gets across.
MissSushi MissSushi 7 years
I used to be a meek person, and sometimes I still am, but I've gone a LONG way to correct that. My advice to you is to just start small, and to remind yourself that you're saying no because you DON'T agree with/want to do whatever it is. If you are wavering between, do it. It will become much easier to assert yourself again and again. Just take it slow and steady, so you don't have/allow an unwarrented guilt trip and give in, that will end up spiraling out of control.
French-Kiss French-Kiss 7 years
Yeah you should definitely do it =) Explain to the closest people you know that you are just eventually expressing the real you. That doesn't mean you're gonna be dure, mean, and hate every one, i guess you'll have the same feelings, so, just do it, there will always be people to love you for who you are, don't worry about that ^^
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
Just do it. As the Nike ad says. :) I identify with you, as I've been through a similar phase. It takes practice, and over time, I got better at it. Good luck.
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