Be an assertive communicator


  1. Know your default communication style.
    Take a moment to think about how you usually talk and interact with people. Do you avoid arguments and keep quiet to keep the peace? Then, you might be using a passive approach. Or do you always make sure your needs come first, sometimes at the expense of others? That could mean you're more aggressive in your communication. Perhaps you hint at what's bothering you instead of saying it outright, which is a sign of being passive-aggressive. If none of these sound like you, you might already be communicating assertively. Recognizing your default style is the first step towards change.
  2. Practice assertiveness in low-stake situations.
    If being assertive feels challenging, start small. Practice expressing your opinion or needs in situations that feel less important, such as deciding where to eat with friends or suggesting a movie to watch. This practice builds your confidence and skills to be assertive without the pressure of high-stakes outcomes.
  3. Challenge your patterns of thinking.
    Often, our communication style is tied to deep-seated beliefs about ourselves and our place in the world. Reflect on the thoughts that preceded your communication. Challenge any negative or limiting beliefs, such as "I don't deserve to be heard," by asking yourself if they are truly accurate and by considering evidence to the contrary.


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