How to be more assertive
Having assertiveness skills can only be a good thing. The challenge is how to recognise whether you are actually being assertive.
Well here is a really good tip to help you to understand when you are falling into the passive or aggressive trap and tread that difficult mid way course to being assertive.
So how do you define passive and aggressive behaviour
Have you ever been accused of being aggressive, because you have fought back when someone has criticised you? Or maybe you get irritated because you don’t like to confront situations, so you defer to being passive?
Aggressive behaviour can be intimating and seen as bullying while passive behaviour means you can be perceived to be a bit of a pushover, neither of which are good places to be.
Well none of us are perfect, we are human and we can only do our best.
However this little piece of advice may come in very handy when you are dealing with challenging situations. It may give your that sort of light bulb moment when you are dealing with a challenging situation whether you are dealing with a child, your partner or a work colleague.
How do you know whether you are being aggressive,passive or assertive?
Be hard on the issue and soft on the person.
Being hard on the issue and soft on the person is being assertive
Being assertive can be quite difficult to quantify – the above statement puts it in a nutshell.
Just to explain in a little more detail, the alternatives to being hard on the issue and soft on the person are either:
Being hard on the issue and hard on the person – which is likely to be perceived as aggressive by the recipient. Being seen to be aggressive can lead to bad feeling and does not necessarily lead to the issue being addressed.
The opposite of this is to be soft on the person and soft on the issue. And this likely to be perceived as passive by the recipient. Being passive may mean you are not listened to or taken seriously.
Jumping from one extreme to the other
The other problem we are likely to encounter when we are being passive or aggressive is that we jump from one extreme to the other. Either being passive to aggressive, because we get frustrated or from aggressive to passive because we feel guilty.
So the next time you are feeling challenged, need to make a stand, a complaint or dish out a little discipline. Remember.
Hard on the person and hard on the issue = aggressive
Soft on the person and soft on the issue = passive
Hard on the issue and soft on the person = assertive = just right – just like Goldilocks and the Three Bears.