It’s not easy to become an assertive person these days. It can be a daunting process, giving yourself the permission to be that boss lady. It’s even more daunting to be assertive, especially when you’re in a relationship, and you’re worried about scaring that other person away.
However, fret not. If you’re assertive, you’re confident without aggression. You’re also someone who is able to set boundaries before others try to take advantage of you. When it’s absolutely necessary, you are able to make reasonable compromises as well.
Plus, you’re rocking such a high level of self-confidence. Others wish they were you, empowered by your sheer motivation and power. You raise others to a higher level, and in turn, they raise you as well.
Being in a relationship is tricky. You have to figure out what your partner wants while also standing your ground as well. Great partners are able to respect our boundaries, and it’s expected that we do the same as well.
It takes two to tango in a relationship, and sometimes people lose a bit of that assertiveness. They lose that assertiveness because they gradually replace it with aggression or submission.
However, balancing our level of assertiveness is easier said than done.
Why Is Assertiveness Important?
We have to understand that assertiveness is important. We need it in order to make sense of the chaos that is in our lives. When things don’t go our way, we have to sometimes move forward and fight back.
Instead of letting our problems consume us, we take control of the situation proactively before it becomes a problem.
When it comes to relationships, we all need a high level of assertiveness. We have our good moments, our neutral moments, and our bad moments. When injustice is served, we are able to shield ourselves against those who will harm us.
In a relationship, both you and the partner are able to face those big problems head-on. Instead of fighting each other, you’re fighting an unseen enemy together, and that’s quite the feat. The enemy only wins if you and your partner end up fighting.
To put it plainly:
- Be respectful
- Communicate more
- Actively listen
- Be empathetic
- Be patient
- Be honest
- Be transparent
While it is hard to make sense of our situations, here are some tips for becoming more assertive.
1. Know Your Worth and Intent
Well before you tackle an issue or situation, you need to know that you’re worth as much as the next person. Remembering that you are worth more than you realize is important, especially if you don’t want to be a doormat.
Also, before heading into any discussion or battle, you need to know what you’re going to say to your partner. Otherwise, you might come across as not very well-versed, especially if you need to back up what you're saying, and you risk losing the attention of the other party.
2. Choose Your Battles
Couples fight, but great couples choose their battles. Sometimes a minor thing is better left unsaid. For example, we can’t control our partners, but we can control how we respond to our partners.
This means that your partner might like that gross TV show but you can be the better person and be nonjudgemental. I’m sure each of us has something that doesn’t resonate well with someone else and none of us are perfect.
If your partner is doing something really problematic, then you will need to let the other party know, but do it calmly and clearly, without throwing anything at them.
3. Be Empathetic
Empathy requires us to be in the mindset of someone else. Sure, people process the world differently from us and being assertive means treating those other people with respect.
You’re not better or worse than that person. You’re equals, even if you see things differently. If needed, you can try to ground yourself to the present to prevent yourself from obsessing over unrelated details.
Work together, but don’t expect someone to lose themselves in the process, including yourself.
4. Actively Listen
When you are empathetic, you are primed to actively listen to others. Being a good listener means allowing your partner to vent to you without being judged or interrupted. In return, they will do the same for you.
While you listen in, you are not bothering them, triggering them, multi-tasking, or making back-handed comments. Assertive people are good — and they want to raise others up just as they wish others to do for them.
5. Be Goal-Oriented
If you say that you will do something, then do that something. While it’s easier said than done, assertive people make reasonable goals that are reachable. They don’t make promises that they can’t keep.
Thus, when presented with a bad situation, assertive people make the most out of a situation and learn to grow. Sure, different people respond differently to the same circumstances, but the reality is that only you can ultimately influence how you will face adversity.
Overall, while it’s not easy to be assertive, it’s possible and doable, especially in respectful partnerships. Only time will tell if your partners are able to keep up their end of the deal. As for now, keep it classy, and be confident in yourself.