The 10 Rules You Need to Live By to Be More Assertive

Feeling tired of tip-toeing around everyone else's feelings? It's time to embrace assertiveness and take charge of your life. Learn to set boundaries, communicate confidently, and negotiate like a pro with these top 10 rules you need to live by to be more assertive.

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Ever felt like you’re tiptoeing around everyone else’s feelings, while yours get shoved to the back burner? It’s time to embrace your assertiveness and take charge of your life. Here are ten rules I swear by to help you do just that:

1. Get to Know You: Start by digging deep into who you are. What do you stand for? What are your non-negotiables? Knowing yourself inside out lays the groundwork for assertiveness. For instance, let’s say you’ve always been a die-hard vegetarian, but your friends keep pushing you to try that new steakhouse. Instead of caving, confidently state, “I appreciate the invite, but I’m committed to my vegetarian lifestyle.”

2. Tune In: Assertiveness isn’t just about talking; it’s also about listening. Really listen. Understand where others are coming from before you make your point. So, when your colleague complains about the workload, respond with empathy, “It sounds like you’re swamped. Let’s figure out a way to lighten the load together.”

3. Make It Personal: When expressing yourself, own it. Use “I” statements to convey your thoughts and feelings without pointing fingers. For example, if your partner forgets your anniversary (again), say, “I feel disappointed when we forget special occasions like our anniversary,” instead of, “You always forget important dates!”

4. Set Your Boundaries: Your time, energy, and sanity are precious commodities. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries to protect them. Saying no isn’t selfish; it’s self-care. When your neighbor asks for the umpteenth favor, politely decline, “I’m sorry, but I can’t help out this time. I need to prioritize my own commitments.”

5. Speak with Your Body: Your body language speaks volumes. Stand tall, make eye contact, and use confident gestures. When you’re pitching your idea at work, your posture should scream, “I believe in this!”

6. Keep It Simple: Don’t dance around the issue. Be direct and crystal clear in your communication. When discussing a project with your team, say, “I propose we allocate more resources to this task to ensure its success.”

7. Negotiate Like a Pro: Assertiveness isn’t about bulldozing others. It’s about finding common ground. So, when you and your friend can’t decide on a restaurant, suggest a compromise, “How about we try that new Italian place you love for dinner and my favorite dessert spot afterward?”

8. Be Kind to Yourself: Nobody’s perfect, and that’s okay. Cut yourself some slack and treat yourself with compassion. If you slip up in a presentation, instead of beating yourself up, remind yourself, “It’s okay to stumble. I’ll learn from this and do better next time.”

9. Embrace Feedback: Feedback—good or bad—is a gift. Accept it graciously and use it to grow. When your boss offers constructive criticism on your project, respond with gratitude, “Thank you for the feedback. I’ll take your suggestions on board and make the necessary adjustments.”

10. Stay True: Assertiveness is a muscle that needs regular flexing. Stay consistent in your approach, even when it feels uncomfortable. With practice, it’ll become second nature. Remember, it’s not about changing who you are; it’s about owning it.

So, there you have it—ten rules to help you embrace assertiveness and live life on your terms. Go ahead, speak up, stand tall, and watch as your confidence soars.

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