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How To Be More Assertive

Standing up for yourself and being firm are life skills that can help support your personal, professional, and social life. Being assertive comes in tandem with confidence and self-worth.

By being assertive, firm, and standing your ground in a respectful, fair, and mature way, you can feel empowered, happy, and in control of your own decisions.

Let’s look at a few ways you can be more assertive and just why it is so beneficial to know your worth and stick to what you believe.

Handsome working men smiling in front of his laptop


Set Clear Boundaries and Expectations

When your boss messages you after the end of the workday, do you run to your phone or work desk?

If you find yourself constantly working and are struggling to remember when you weren’t glued to a company group chat or solving a career-related problem, then there may be some boundary issues between you and your workplace.

Similarly, perhaps you spend every weekend running errands for friends or family members and dream of having a few valuable hours to yourself.

Handsome man working infront of his desktop while talking  on a phone

It’s important to set clear boundaries. Make it clear to your employer that you have set working hours and won’t be reachable at certain times. Explain to friends and family members that your time is important and people should respect you. Be polite but be firm.

Make it clear when you disagree with something and remember to not constantly let yourself be overwhelmed with tasks and favors just to please everybody around you.

Make sure you set aside some time for yourself.

Believe In Yourself

So much of being assertive stems from believing that what you say and do is valid and important. By knowing what you want, you will be able to stand up for yourself and express your opinion.

If somebody asks you to do something or expresses an opinion that you don’t necessarily agree with, don’t be afraid to voice your opinion.

Be confident in the power of your speech and opinions. If you have something to say or don’t want to do something, remember that you have as much right to speak your mind and say no as anybody else.

Make Eye Contact

Two woman colleague talking to each other ina sofa

To be assertive, you need to feel assertive. Maintaining eye contact in a casual, friendly, and balanced way is a great opportunity to demonstrate assertive behavior.

If your boss wants you to work overtime but you don’t want to, or you have been asked to do something you don't feel comfortable with, then eye contact can work wonders.

Simply look somebody in the eye when speaking to them. You can blink and engage, and make the encounter friendly and relaxed, but eye contact shows confidence.

Be Aware Of Your Body Language

Two woman talking in the office the other one is standing and the other one is sittingon a desk

Try practicing assertive body language. Avoid crossing your arms as that can either suggest nervousness or hostility. Stand firm, with a good posture, maintain eye contact, and demonstrate a friendly but firm approach.

Avoid slouching, crossing your legs, or playing with an item of clothing or jewelry. You want to look confident, firm, and own your space. Remember, you can do all these things in a neutral and friendly way.

Regardless of how you choose to assert yourself, remember to be kind. You can still be assertive and maintain your warm, friendly personality.

Assertiveness is an incredibly effective way of setting boundaries, knowing your worth, and allowing you to have some control over your own choices. Be bold, be proud, and be you!


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