Having an assertive nature can be viewed as negative; however, there are plenty of great reasons to be more assertive. I have not always been a very assertive person. Actually, most of my life I have been quite timid, but I recently came to the conclusion that being more assertive would help me in life. Certainly, being more assertive allows you to stand up for yourself. It also gives you the opportunity to express yourself without embarrassment and ask for what you need. Assertiveness is often equated with rudeness, but the two are quite different. When you are assertive you are acting with confidence, which is why having an assertive nature can be very healthy. If you struggle with assertiveness, perhaps these reasons to be more assertive will help you feel ready to cultivate your inner assertive nature.
1. Less Anxiety
How often do you feel anxious when a confrontation arises? I am a person who runs as far as possible from confrontation. However, this is not a healthy response. Conflict is not something that can be avoided, and being more assertive can help you face conflict with less anxiety. Being able to state your opinions with confidence and stick to them is very important. If you can do this with less anxiety because you are comfortable with assertiveness, you will feel much more capable in standing by your beliefs. As I have become more assertive, I have noticed that my anxiety during times of confrontation has decreased. I still have a lot of practice to do, but it is getting better. In addition to having less anxiety, there are many other reasons to be more assertive.
2. Better Relationships
Contrary to what some people may think, being assertive can actually help you in your relationships. When you are assertive you can voice your opinions and beliefs with more ease. Doing this will help the people in your life know you better. If you are constantly agreeing with people because you can’t assertively state what you are thinking, your relationships are not built on openness and honesty. In high school I had a very difficult time asserting myself with my friends when I needed to. As a result, my relationships with my friends were not very strong. I couldn’t say when my feelings were hurt, when I needed something, or when I disagreed. This was no one’s fault but my own. Now, I know that being assertive can help my relationships flourish.
Being more assertive can help you foster your self-confidence. If you are not used to being assertive, it may feel weird and uncomfortable at first. However, after you are more acquainted with what it feels like to be assertive, you will begin to feel your confidence grow. Over time, as you are more assertive, you will notice that people value your opinions and want to hear what you have to say. That positive feedback will help your self-confidence grow. I know I am much more self-confident since I have begun to be more assertive.
4. More Time
Let’s face it, if you lack assertiveness you are probably saying yes to a lot of requests people make of you. Consequently, you are probably very busy helping people or going to events you don’t really want to be at. Becoming more assertive will help you say no to requests. Not only will this free up your time, you will also be much less stressed out. Being able to say no and stick to it can be difficult, but it is much easier when you are assertive. It also has the benefit of granting you the ability to have more time to do the things you enjoy.
5. Advantages at Work
There are actually several advantages to being more assertive at work. One of the biggest advantages is your boss will start to see you in a leadership role. If you can assert yourself and take the lead in group projects or state your opinions with ease, you will be seen as a leader. Being seen as a leader can really help your career because it can lead to promotions. The key to being assertive at work, and in all instances, is to tactfully voice your opinions and respectfully disagree. You also want to thoughtfully listen to your co-workers, which will prevent people from thinking you are trying to steamroll over them. Instead, they will see you as an assertive leader.
6. More Respect
One of the other advantages of being more assertive is that people will start to respect you more. It is hard to respect someone who never offers opinions or never stands up for themselves. However, if you can start to stand up for yourself, people will respect you a lot more. You will notice that everyone in your life begins to show you more respect, including your family, friends, and co-workers. Next to having more self-confidence, being treated with more respect is one of the best benefits of being more assertive.
7. More Articulate
If you are not used to speaking your mind, it can be difficult to articulate your ideas. Yet, as you become more assertive you will notice that you are much more articulate. Being articulate is important for speaking in large and small groups. It is even important when you are trying to voice an opinion in class. You want people to understand the point you are trying to make, and as you become more practiced at being assertive you will become much more articulate.
I have always considered myself to be more of a shy and quiet person, but I have begun to realize that there are many advantages to being more assertive. Being assertive can help you in so many areas of your life that it is well worth becoming more comfortable with being assertive. At first, it may seem difficult, but over time you will be much more at ease with your new found assertiveness. Is it difficult for you to assert yourself?