How to be More Assertive

This episode of Curves Welcome with Suzie Carr explores how to be more assertive.

To be able to clearly communicate your ideas assertively in a way that stabilizes a situation is a skill that is hard to learn. The key here for those of you who are not naturally assertive is that it’s a skill that can be learned. If you don’t learn it, the costs can be great to both personal and professional relationships and problems will continue to build until you take a step to neutralize them.

In this episode, we explore these tips to becoming more assertive:

  • State the problem from your viewpoint
  • Validate and show empathy for the other person
  • State your needs and feelings
  • Be straightforward
  • Pay attention to body language

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please note this transcript has not been edited and is automatically generated meaning certain words will be incorrect

[Music] hey thanks for joining me today for this episode of curves welcome a podcast about facing and embracing the curves of life if this is your first time tuning in this is Suzie Carr imagine for a minute there’s somebody you work with who keeps doing something that irritates the heck out of you and gets in the way of your process this can be anything like she chomps on crunchy potato chips like nobody’s business or she always leaves crumbs all over the counter in the break room or she talks too loudly with other colleagues about the latest TV show when this type of thing happens are you one who would confront her about this or are you one who lets it slide for the sake of not wanting to rock the boat so what are our options in cases like this well we can say absolutely nothing in other words suffer in silence and continue to have to deal with whatever this person is doing but what kind of effect would that have on us if we chose that approach likely we’d suffer a lot of bitterness become extremely unhappy and eventually make passive-aggressive comments or if we do decide to say something to her we may approach her in a way that is hostile and off-putting and gets us nowhere now both of us are miserable and we’ve created a bad situation that ruins our working relationship leaves us feeling stressed and boxed into a corner this outcome sucks plain and simple it wreaks havoc on our future happiness and progress when we fail to confront a troubling situation we place ourselves in the danger of acting out of passive aggressiveness which could then result in its ugly ugly part a total blow-up that never resolves itself to be able to clearly communicate your ideas assertively in a way that stabilizes a situation is a skill that is hard to learn but is completely possible to learn the keen ear for those of you who are not naturally assertive is that it is a skill that can be learned if you don’t learn it the costs can be great to both personal and professional relationships and problems will continue to build until you take a step to neutralize them some people might think yeah I’ll just let it go it’s more work and potentially more painful to approach the person because who knows how she’s gonna react who knows how I’ll perform I might make matters worse hell I might make her angry I might make her do whatever it is she’s doing even more out of spite for my coming forward listen these feelings are so valid and it’s these very feelings that keep someone in this situation from being content and successful how I’ve placed myself in that situation many times and I regret each and every one of those times I’ve had noisy office mates I’ve been bitter about a lack of a salary increase I’ve been scared to ask for her telecommuting benefits that I know I earned and in my personal life I’ve put up with the poor treatment from friends and family just to keep the peace all of these situations and the poor taste that they left behind could have been resolved if only I had been more assertive and communicated my needs and feelings over time I have learned to do this through some research and practice and now I can happily say that I am successful in say no to things that I don’t agree with or don’t fit into my priorities I’m not afraid to say what’s on my mind if I feel it’s a valuable and I definitely stand up for myself or others when appropriate and necessary there are ways to approach tough in sticky situations and create a positive outcome you don’t have to be a master negotiator or a smooth talker you don’t have to be perfect with your approach you simply have to be willing to give it a try to course-correct an uncomfortable situation and to want to improve things for everyone involved if you are losing sleep biting your nails grinding your teeth and rolling your eyes over someone’s behavior you are causing yourself potential harm by mediating the situation you’ll help to improve things and isn’t that worth it isn’t your happiness worth it your success depends on you to say yes here many people avoid confrontation because they don’t want to appear rude assertiveness doesn’t equal rudeness there are ways to respectfully explain your needs in any given situation without being rude or disrespectful let’s take a look at a few tips on how you can do this the first tip is to state the problem as you see it from your angle do this in a non aggressive or non demanding way simply state the facts communicate what the issue is and how it’s affecting you often just alerting someone to a problem is enough to make it stop because the person may not even have any clue that they were causing an issue she may thank you for bringing it to her attention she might end up being mortified that she caused a problem or she might become defensive that is always something that could happen so that being said the second tip here is to validate the other person and show empathy you don’t want her getting defensive I came across an article in ink magazine that recommends to try to understand the other person’s point of view try to listen and avoid interrupting until they are done speaking when you do this you open up the door to communication because the person feels heard and validated a lot of break down issues happen because of defensiveness when someone feels cut off or shut out they shut down and nothing could be achieved so it’s critical to keep the lines open by allowing the person to explain her point of view even if you don’t agree let her know that you care and that you’re willing to listen don’t go in with your boxing gloves ready to fight let her speak tell her you understand and empathize and then reiterate your feelings lead the way to a mutually open conversation the third step is to let her know what your needs are what are you asking her to do or should stop state this in a very concise statement give her a call to action something she can do to make the problem better people thrive when they know what’s expected so what are you expecting are you expecting her to stop talking loudly about television shows then ask her to do so if you don’t ask her she’ll continue because she has no clue it’s a problem for you and do you really want to spend your days pulling your hair and grinding your teeth to get through her diatribes if no then take the assertive approach and steamroll this problem out of existence through a respectful conversation be direct and be appropriate you’re listening to the lesbian talk show the lesbians will choke on you’ll have a podcast information the fourth step is to be straightforward a helpful article that I found in psych central suggests to describe the troublesome situation as you see it be very specific about time and actions and don’t make general accusations that start off with you’re always this so you’re always doing that it’s really important to remain calm and not place personal blame on someone’s personality simply focus on the behavior not on the motives that may or may not be real a fifth step is to pay attention to your body language without knowing it we interpret another person’s messages non-verbally through their body it’s important when approaching someone about an uncomfortable situation to be confident firm yet gentle and open to do this maintain eye contact hold your posture upright use appropriate tone in pace when you speak and stay relaxed focusing on your breath to prevent negative emotions from rising so let’s wrap this up with an example of how you could approach this person who is talking perhaps too loudly to a colleague and disrupting your work and likely the work of others maybe the conversation might look something like this Lisa I know you enjoy discussing television shows with others here being in the next cubicle from you I hear your conversations and I have a hard time concentrating on my work as a result that puts me behind on my projects can you please lower your voice or maybe go to the break room when you want to discuss the television shows with others I would really appreciate it and I’m sure others might as well by stating it like this you’ve communicated clearly and concisely the problem you’ve done so in a respectful manner letting go know the facts your needs and the expectation from here expect that Lisa will do one of two things she might offer a rebuttal and this may be done in a defensive manner or not she may be surprised in apologetic remember to let her speak without interrupting let her know you understand her point of view and continue to share your facts and needs in a calm respectful manner being assertive is a way for us to clear the path of obstacles that impede on our growth it is a way for you to stand up for yourself in a way that promotes your self-respect and gains the respect of others learning how to be assertive can be the difference between suffering and silence unreasonably and smoothing out the rough edges to allow for progress to happen being the one to speak up be the one to claim peace be the one to lead by example using respect and common decency as your guide point when you do this you can’t go wrong hey friends thanks for spending time with me today first up I want to take a moment to say thank you to everyone who has showed their love and support of my newest novel release the pet boutique a romance novel that has lots of flirty innuendos a fun-loving albeit wacky at times family and a spirited dog who makes sure that everyone adores her it is available on Kindle and Kindle unlimited as well as paperback I also want to thank all who have become patrons of my patreon page your support means a great deal to me for more information on joining me on this journey and gaining access to special rewards visit the link in the show notes also be sure to follow the lesbian talk show to keep up on the latest episodes so thanks for tuning in until next time go out there and continue to learn grow and embrace life’s curves