Being assertive can be a bit tricky before you get the hang of it but I’m telling you as soon as you do it’s on and poppin’. And the good news is that you can be assertive without being rude.
You just need to get past
- your voice being kind of shaky
- allowing other people’s opinions to outweigh yours
- allowing other people to control the conversation
But luckily for you, that will go away
- with practice and practice only
- after reading this article
- after reading number 5
With that being said let’s get into how to be more assertive.
How to be assertive without being rude
1. Prepare for the backlash and don’t take their BS responses
They are going to have something to say, and they may go below the belt. It’s crucial that you mentally prepare for this because they will be less likely to succeed at persuading you.
You obviously can’t guess word for word what they will say but you can imagine the worst possible thing they could say and envision you still standing firm on your point.
And while we’re on the topic of backlash do NOT and I repeat do NOT take their BS responses, which I’m almost certain they will have.
What I mean by this is don’t go back and forth with someone who is intentionally trying to trigger you and don’t take what they say to heart. A lot of times people like to say things that either
- Has nothing to do with the conversation
- Is a completely different version of events (aka a lie)
- Doesn’t make sense at all
- Is below the belt
If it’s a nonsense response such as the examples above then just ignore it, straight up. Continue moving through the conversation to let this person know how you feel and be done with it. This isn’t about arguing this is about getting your feelings off your chest.
2. Don’t lose sight of why this conversation started
All too often in discussions, especially heated ones, we lose sight of where all of this started in the first place. This is only going to confuse you and cause you to get off-topic.
If you continue to remind yourself why y’all are having this conversation, or why you’re saying no to this person, then it will be a lot easier to remain assertive without being rude.
Stay focused on the issue at hand and respectfully guide them back to the original topic.
You need to breathe not only because it’s necessary but because it’s going to calm you down.
Your heart is probably going to race, your chest may get tight, you may start to feel like you’re clamming up, and guess what?
That is perfectly normal.
Use that as an opportunity to remind yourself to do the one thing you were born knowing how to do. Breathe. Check out this cool video on how to deep breathe properly.
4. Learn when to walk away
If at any point in the conversation, you feel like you’re getting nowhere and they’re not budging, then leave. Hang up. Walk away. Do whatever it is you need to do because there’s no reason to be wasting your time on someone like that.
Plus, this isn’t the kind of person you need to be trying to be more assertive with. Why? Because they’re stuck in their ways and sometimes you can’t change that about a person.
There are like-minded people out there who can communicate at your level, not to mention, your time is valuable.
You need to get comfortable with ending a conversation that is going nowhere.
5. Say their name
Saying someone’s name throughout a conversation allows you to maintain control over the discussion. Dale Carnegie, the author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, believes it’s the sweetest sound in any language for someone to hear.
I mean, who doesn’t love hearing their name?
It will grab their attention while making them feel validated at the same time. Why do you want them to feel validated? Because you’re trying to be assertive without being rude and the more you let your other party feel heard, the more likely they are to hear you.
Unless you’re just talking to a nut.
6. Avoid a high-pitched “no”
The best way to explain this is by referring to this YouTube video (time stamp 5:41). Joe Navarro is the absolute best.
If you would rather hear it from me then that’s fine too. To sum up his point, he is saying that when you say “no” in a deeper tone, not only does it show confidence, but it shows the gravity of your feelings. Those underlying tones and body language matters because we communicate more with non-verbal than we do with verbal language.
7. Leave the guilt at home
You have no reason, and I do mean no reason, to feel guilty about expressing your thoughts and feelings.
Your voice deserves to be heard just as much as the next person and you have no idea how much potential you’re wasting by not speaking up.
Say what you need to say and keep it pushing.
Don’t worry about their feelings after the discussion. Don’t overthink what you said. And by any means necessary, do NOT cave unless you see a more logical solution in sight.
This is about you being more assertive, not you being more agreeable. They’ll get over it and so will you.
Now go out there and try a few tips you just learned here and watch the magic happen!