How to Start Being More Assertive

As a hypnotherapist, I see a lot of clients who want to become more assertive. This tends to go hand in hand with low self esteem and low self respect and can also cause stress and even resentment, which has a knock on effect for your whole well-being.

What is Assertiveness?

Being assertive means that you feel comfortable expressing your opinion or feelings and standing up for your needs without feeling bad or guilty about it.

Some people make the mistake of thinking that being assertive means being aggressive but these are actually two entirely different ways of behaving. Being assertive involves being firm but also with a calm and measured approach.

If you’re struggling to be assertive, here are a few things that may be true for you:

  • You feel incredibly anxious (and maybe physically ill) at just the thought of getting involved in a confrontation
  • You’re very uncomfortable or afraid of offering your opinion to others, especially if it’s different to theirs
  • You’re frequently being treated as a pushover by other people and feel resentful and angry about this
  • You’re not able to say “no” if you don’t want to do something
  • You feel stressed or even overwhelmed because of the demands being put on you by other people

Here are some tips for being more assertive:

Work out where you need to focus more

Even if you’re passive in general, there may well be particular parts of your life that you’d really like to be more assertive in such as work or in social situations. You may also be more passive when you’re with particular people. Working out which areas you need to assert yourself the most is a great first step for developing the skills you’ll need to put this into action.

Focus on “I” statements

The words that you use when you’re trying to be assertive can make all the difference when it comes to commanding the respect you want to get. Focusing on yourself and how you feel is a better tactic than using “you” as the other person is a lot less likely to feel that they’re being accused of something and go on the defensive. Make your statements concise and get to the point quickly so that you appear firm and in control.

For example, instead of telling a colleague who piles too much pressure on you that “you never pull your weight”, you could try saying something along the lines of “I feel that we work so much better as a team”. This approach is generally a lot less aggressive in how it comes across and will get a better reaction from the other person.

Avoid being so passive

Being afraid to assert yourself is often the result of wanting to keep the peace but what this type of passive behaviour really says to other people is that their thoughts, feelings or needs are more important than yours. This gives them a green light to behave and act as though this is indeed the case.

Being more assertive can be a big challenge if you’re used to being passive most or all of the time but it’s what you need to do to start putting your own needs first and reducing stress and anxiety.

Hypnotherapy for assertiveness can help you to learn the skills you’ll need to move away from being passive and feel more comfortable standing up for yourself when you need to.

Say no

Being too scared to say no to people can mean that you stretch yourself far too thinly and pile more stress on yourself. Often, this is because you are scared of upsetting people but think of it as rebalancing your own needs so that their needs aren’t put above yours.

Practice makes perfect

Being assertive for the first time can be incredibly nerve wracking but trust me, it does get easier the more you do it!

Being more assertive in your mind is one thing but it can be a whole different story when it comes to putting it into action in a real situation. Practicing in front of the mirror or with a friend can make it feel less daunting and help you to feel more at ease with being assertive on a face-to-face basis.

Put these tips into action and get in touch with me today to start talking about how hypnotherapy for assertiveness can help you to start putting your needs first.