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Saturday, January 23, 2016


Assertiveness: 10 Keys To Surviving Saying what you feel

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Assertiveness: 10 Keys To Surviving Saying what you feel


Have you ever been in a situation like this?

    You are queuing up to get on the bus and someone will wash. You get angry but do not dare say anything.

    A friend asks you if you can pick him up at the airport. Although fatal because you will have a lot of work, you say yes. You do not want to be mad at you.

    You've time thinking you deserve a raise but do not you put it to your boss. Clearly it is not the most appropriate as things are.

Perhaps you've felt identified with any of them. In either case, you should have said what you thought, but you did not.

Most people passively accept these situations while we feel like we lose respect for ourselves. Sometimes until we reached the limit and we burst of anger, which has much worse consequences.

Keys to be assertive

However, there is a third way to respond and far more effective than simply dangerous passivity or aggressiveness respect you. I'm talking about assertiveness.

In this article, you will learn why it is so important, what its limits are and why not everyone can be assertive. 10 also discover techniques to master assertive communication and the 4 steps you must follow to create the perfect assertive message.

    What is assertiveness?
    What is it good for?
    5 reasons to have little assertiveness
    The 10 keys to being more assertive
    The 4 stages of perfect assertive message

What is assertiveness?

If you're a regular reader of this blog probably already know its meaning: a way to communicate in which you defend your rights, you express your opinions and suggestions perform honestly and not aggressive.

Assertiveness is nothing but respects you respect for others. Say what you really think controlling the message you want to convey to not be too aggressive or brittle.

And although it seems simple in theory, in practice it is not so.
Yes, you can learn to be more assertive

Fortunately, Assertiveness is a behavior that can be learned and improved. It is a conscious way to communicate your feelings without getting caught up in the emotions and is based on a trust in yourself. And remember that confidence can only be developed through personal experiences, never reading books or blogs at home.

I hope to be assertive not believe will solve all your problems in life, because it will not. Nor will it be appropriate in all situations because each context is different. However, I can assure you that you will feel more confident and will convey it more effectively when needed.

Express your true feelings and defend your rights can be wonderfully rewarding. When you say what you want, whether you get it or not, you get to live more authentic and happy way.

You feel free.
What will serve to be assertive?

Being assertive serves to expose to others what your true desires and needs are, and to show dignity, confidence and respect for yourself.

The most interesting is that requests you to do the assertive communication will be much more likely to succeed because they're legitimately asking your opinion is respected. Usually, it will be useful for:

    Give your opinion, make a request or ask someone naturally and not as a favor if you're asking you to spare his life.

    Express your negative emotions (complaints, criticism, disagreement, etc) and reject requests without others hurt or angry you feel.

    Show positive emotions (joy, pride, pleasure, attraction) and give compliments without seeming too emotionally volatile.

    Ask why and feel entitled to question authority or traditions.

    Start, continue, change, and end conversations comfortably without the feeling of being Ning Une Ando or disrespecting anyone.

    Share your feelings, emotions and experiences with others and encourage them to share theirs with you.

    Solve everyday problems before they arise negative emotions like anger and anger and the situation gets out of control.

However, being assertive not achieve that people want you, you never get angry with you and grant you everything you want. However much you use assertiveness will always be people who will continue giving no for an answer if you ask something that goes against their interests or values.

There will be those who can misunderstand you and take your message as a personal attack. Nothing is foolproof.
5 reasons to have little assertiveness

Surely when you were young you were taught that you must not contradict your parents, relatives and teachers, am I right? That idea may have become entrenched and become unconscious of trying always to please others to avoid confrontations, rejection, or the feeling of guilt for hurting someone's feelings will.

Reasons for not being assertive

Many were educated us on the idea that we should always try to meet and prioritize others, that it was wrong putting our own needs above those of others, and when someone said something we did not like we had to be silent.

But along with the education received, there are also other factors that determine that you do not usually behave assertively.

1. Because you have low self-esteem and self-confidence

The lack of assertiveness is a vicious circle: when you are not assertive you probably feel less valuable to see how constantly trample your rights, you become a person even less assertive in the future.

Remember that when you do not defend your rights or express your emotions, you are inviting others to treat you the same way.

2. For the meaning of certain stereotypes in your life

Some roles are directly related to non-assertive behaviors, such as certain jobs low level and the traditional role of women in some cultures. In many places, there is still the stereotype that women should be submissive while men should be aggressive.

The paradox is that we pressed ourselves to act as the role they are supposed to carry at all times: most of us are more passive and less assertive than before the CEO against the colleague with whom we share a table.

3. Because you are stressed or nervous

When you're stressed it is normal to feel you are losing control of your life. In those situations, you can act without thinking and end up expressing emotions very aggressively or even extremely passive as if nothing had and importance.

This behavior, again, feeds the feeling of anxiety and likely cause rejection in the other, and so the vicious circle back to feed.

4. Your personality type

Many people believed to have been born more aggressive or more passive and that there is nothing they can do to change it.

This statement is not entirely correct. Although it is likely that there is a natural tendency to react in one way or another, everyone can learn to be more assertive.

5. On your previous experiences

As I mentioned at the beginning, many people learned to respond assertively not by imitating the behavior of their parents, friends or reference roles. If you've ever been around you helpful and accommodating, or aggressive and hostile people, it is difficult to learn to react differently.

The first step to becoming more assertive is to know the source of the problem.
The 10 keys to being more assertive

Below is a collection of techniques and tools that have proved useful in improving your aggression. It is not necessary that internalize all with just implement some certainly notice the difference.

1. Replace your negative thoughts

For starters it is key you replace negative thoughts that come to you when you assert your rights.

Avoid thinking things like 'I'm a bad friend for not letting my colleague money' and change it to a more positive and personal vision as 'I deserve respect me and I can not leave money to someone you'd never have returned.'

You can not change your feeling, only how they interpret them.
Only if you are convinced that you are in the right to express your feelings and defend your ideas you can communicate without hurting anyone. Start thinking selfishly positive.

2. Understand that people can not read your mind

A great and classic mistake of passive people is to assume that people know what is happening inside you.

You may think that your boss knows you want a raise, or your girlfriend expected to invite a romantic dinner, or your friend knows how much you let it bother you that a video game and then not give it back.

They can not read your thoughts

But people often have no idea of what's bothering you or what you really expect from them. So, do not use the argument that you know what you want as an excuse for not taking a step forward because it is false.
If you want people to keep in mind your desires and needs must first say what, expressing yourself in a way that others can respond appropriately.

3. Defend "your" truth, "not the" truth

Speaking assertively not transform post in the only truth, but it becomes your truth.

I hope you agree with me that there is no absolute truth. The truth is a human invention. We assume that certain things are true in order to understand the world around us.

Each of our truths is based on our past experiences and knowledge. That lets you talk to your truths even when they are not true for others. And for that reason, you should also hear what they have to say.

The truth can be unpleasant, but that's not the reason for not saying them. Often the toughest truths are the most valuable. Do you remember the story of the emperor's new clothes? It is a fable about the lack of assertiveness, and finally shows that say what you think is true can have enormous power.
A truth that you can never be denied is how you feel. If you say you're happy, sad or angry, no one can discutient that because only you know how you feel.

4. Remember your goal no matter what

Imagine that you take a season unmotivated at work and decide to go talk to your boss. If only you expose her problem not feel motivators what you do is pierce him full responsibility.

Perhaps decide what you like, or maybe not, because you've left free to decide.

To be assertive you must not only expose situations, you should also make clear what you want.

It is not easy to know what you want, so I recommend that you think carefully before. Do you really want a raise or more motivating project? Want your boyfriend does not leave much with friends or when you will devote more attention and affection?

The clearer you get what you want, the more likely you get it.

Once you have a goal, do not turn from it. In a tense conversation, it is normal that there are times when the other person seems not to hear and not attend your arguments or even despise you.

Remember your goal

In such cases remember why you're there. Remember that you have returned to the store to return a defective item, you called your neighbor because his music does not let you sleep at night, or what they really want is your girlfriend does not ignore you when you are with her friends.

Your goal is that, rather than win the argument.

5. Always be as specific as you can

Besides knowing what your real goal in that situation, you should be able to communicate accurately and in detail what you want and not a vague general idea, or the situation will probably get out of hand.

Imagine you walk into a restaurant to order something to eat. Is not that just would not ask "sandwich"? Instead, you ask for something more specific, such as a medium sandwich of ham with tomato bread, right?

Contrary to what many people do, it is of no use to have a conversation where you just want to express your anger. What do you want to really get?
Remember at all times what your goal is, however, tense the conversation goes down, and I know the most specific the better. Only in this way you can really protect your needs.

6. Make reference to the facts and not your judgments

It is very important that generally get used to talking about objectives and concrete facts, not your conclusions. The difference?

Objective fact: 'Your letter has misspellings and format varies from page'

Your conclusion: 'Your writing is sloppy'

This will give your communication much more precise and that people do not feel attacked or tried before start dealing with the problem.

7. Add reasons to what you ask

When you ask for something you really want to get also explain your reasons. Give reasons is an excellent way to reduce your chances of being rejected because your partner will see that there is a real reason that supports your request, and that is not a whim of yours.

Look at these two assertive messages:

I'd like to subseries my salary by 15% because of this form will be aligned with the industry average for the work I'm doing.

Excuse me, would you mind talking a little lower on the phone? It hurts a little head and I can hardly concentrate well.

Similarly, when someone asks you something also is your right to refuse without explanation. Although giving a reason it's good because it will subtract your message aggressiveness and provide an explanation for your behavior, you will also be open to letting your partner what you discuss door.

If you refuse without explanation seems too sharp, a good idea is to offer alternatives to the end of your negative:

'I can help you with the job. I'm butt ends meet. Why do not you ask Andrea to see if she does well?
Whenever you provide specific reasons, both as to refuse to ask for something, you will get your message is much more convincing and less aggressive.

8. Speak from 'you' and not from 'you'

Even when it is not your intention, it is common in the intense conversations other people perceive that you blaming. Use the word 'you' in your arguments can easily interpretable as an accusation and then, as a mechanism of self-protection, sealed and people away.

Use subjective messages to communicate assertively

Why talk from you (also called use 'I messages') is so important in assertive communication?

That will help you express your truths without making the other person feel attacked or put on the defensive. Instead of saying 'You have treated me very badly these last days' you can say 'I am disgusted with the way you've treated me lately.'

Although you are basically saying the same thing, you focus on your feelings instead of showing the other person has done something wrong. The key is to use "I" instead of "you" and always stay focused on the problem you have, not accusing or blaming the other person.

    "I feel uncomfortable when someone drives my car and I prefer to be the one to do it" instead of "Better that you do not drive my car"

    "I would greatly appreciate to let me know a few days in advance before telling me that I have to travel over the weekend" instead of "What I now ask is a problem"

    "I'd be able to finish my arguments without being interrupted me" instead of "You're always interrupting my explanations!"

Speaking from expressing what you feel, you think and think instead of what the other person will get your messages are much better accepted.

9. Spread your emotions

Another advantage of the "I" messages is that they are very difficult to discuss because they always will be followed by an emotion or feeling, and nobody can ever discuss you how you feel.

Moreover, emotions are contagious to talk about them. When you express what you feel people empathize with you because he knows the emotion to which you are referring.

People are not usually aware of the consequences of their actions on the emotional state of others. Describe your emotions probably surprise many and make them think.

"I am very disappointed every time you promise me something and incomplete again" it is much more assertive and allow you to maintain a productive conversation with a "never keep your promises!".
Accurately describe your emotions will help people empathize more with you and will be more receptive to your requests.

10. Reduce your stress with body language

Have you heard the series "The Dog"? In it, the dog trainer Cesar Millan shows how educated dogs.

But the reality is somewhat different: Caesar trains dogs, but their masters train to be leaders. And much of what applies to dogs may also apply to humans.

The fundamental learning of Caesar is that dogs are pack animals and are prepared to follow the most assertive leaders, who do not lose their cool easily. He teaches owners to behave this way since its previous conduct Nervosa animals are contagious.

In men is the same. Because emotions are contagious, if you want to communicate in an assertive way you must also convey that to your body language. But there's more.

Use non-verbal language

In a study conducted in 2010 among students and businessmen at the universities of Harvard and Columbia, they found that the most effective leaders had high levels of testosterone and low cortisol levels in their blood.

High levels of testosterone are associated with increased assertiveness while high amounts of cortisol are associated with stress and nervousness. The leaders had more testosterone and less cortisol than average participants.

But what they saw next was surprising.

They discovered that it is possible to modify the levels of these hormones in the blood thanks to proprioception or two-way street between the brain and muscles. Specifically, they found a type of positions, Poses called Power, able to increase the production of testosterone and lower levels of cortisol.

    Posture Power is those that make your body as large as possible, as the position adopted by athletes when they win a competition (arms raised, swollen breast, head slightly up and open mouth) or people when they are proud (hands supported on the waist, legs apart, chin up).

    These positions are innate: the blind athletes take even though he had never seen anyone do them.

What the study showed is that maintaining such a position for two minutes could alter hormone production and make people behave more assertively.
When you do not want to be assertive, Slack not belittle your posture. Keep a firm posture and calm, showing no weakness to your partner or, especially, yourself.
4 Estapar perfects assertive message

Research has shown that for maximum assertiveness must use subjective communications to describe what will happen if nothing has changed, and then submit your proposal.

The four stages are:

    The facts. First describes the behavior of the other person. The behavior can be positive or negative, depending on whether you intend to thank something or express your discontent. Remember to talk about facts, not judgments, and be as specific as possible.

    Your feelings. Now he explains how you feel about that behavior. Frustrated? Sad? Satisfied? Speaking from yourself and your feelings, and try to stay calm.

    The consequences. Describe the consequences of your partner continue to maintain that behavior. You can also add experience the feelings that you foresee, how such behavior will affect other people or situations, or give details of the conduct.

    The solution. Finally, it explains specifically the changes you want to occur in the behavior of the other person. This way people will respond proactively, unlike if only exposes a list of your problems without suggesting solutions.

Here are three examples of a perfectly assertive message:

    "You've worked hard to complete this project (behavior) and I'm very proud of you (how you feel). So sure you will succeed in your business (consequences). "

    "Often your projects late deliveries (behavior) what bothers me (how you feel) because it gives the feeling that the entire department is very disorganized (consequences). I ask you to be on time from now on delivery (solution). "

    "Every time you tell me what I should do (behavior) I feel threatened (how you feel) because you yell a lot and I point out (more details). I wish you would not do it that way (solution). "

Although most of us do not talk about this, it is important to reflect on how you will express your feelings from now to make it as clear and less aggressive as possible.
Start from scratch

In the same way, that you're learning to ride a bike not you would throw downhill Kilimanjaro with assertiveness also you must practice in less critical situations before aspiring to higher goals.

Ideally, you start practicing in low-risk situations, as you change pique site restaurant or you get another room in a hotel.

Gradually, facing more complex as asking wage increases, to deny favors friends or discuss issues with emotionally charged situations. Little by little you will practice picking up and gaining the confidence to be more assertive.

Start practicing assertiveness

When you've done assertiveness a habit, you'll wonder how it is that has survived so far without use. And then you no longer will require strategies because you start to feel comfortable saying what you think. Because say what you think it is natural.

Remember that there will be many occasions when you do not have success. It is normal. The key is not to break down and try again harder. It is not the fear of rejection that separates people more or less confidence, but how they react to it.

Assertiveness, finally, has a wonderful effect on self-esteem, becoming one of its engines. The more you respect you yourself, others will respect you more, and that is, in fact, the ultimate goal of assertiveness.

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