When it comes to being passive or assertive, most people tend to gravitate toward the former. It’s a whole lot easier to step aside and remove yourself from a situation than to jump in and possibly face the consequences of getting involved. Unfortunately, what starts as one or two purposeful choices to avoid conflict can quickly snowball into a lifestyle and personality that is totally consumed by passivity.
By reclaiming your assertiveness and being bold, clear, and decisive in both your work and personal life, you’ll actually see some pretty substantial improvements in your mental health, relationships, and view of the world.
The Benefits of Being Assertive
Being more assertive can literally alter the way you feel about yourself and improve your mental health. Let’s check out a few of the specific benefits:
- Reduces stress. Passive aggressive behavior causes you to bottle up your emotions, which elevates blood pressure and increases your overall stress level. Being assertive, on the other hand, allows you to say your piece and eliminate unnecessary stress from your life.
- Bolsters self-image. Passive people often struggle with thoughts of inadequacy. They wonder why they can’t speak up at the right time and shame weighs heavily on their minds. By being assertive, you’ll actually improve your self-image and start to see yourself in a more confident light.
- Greater satisfaction. When you ditch your passive tendencies and start to speak your mind, you’ll notice that you actually get your way in certain situations. This leads to greater satisfaction in your career and personal life.
It’s not something that gets talked about a lot, but assertiveness and mental health go hand in hand. By honing the skill, you can enjoy a great deal of freedom.
Learning to be More Assertive
There are clearly some benefits to being more assertive in your life, but actually stepping up and doing something is difficult. Having said that, here are some things you can do:
- Keep Listening
Being able to listen a major strength of a passive individual,Green Residential advises. Despite your efforts to become more assertive, don’t let this skill disappear. Combining your assertiveness and listening skills will be valuable for your future relationships.
The key is to find a balance between listening and speaking. It’s always smart to be a good listener, but don’t suppress yourself from speaking up when you have something to say.
- Use “I” Statements
Passive people tend to use words like “we” or “they.” Assertive people command attention and responsibility by using the word “I.”
If you think someone is wrong about something, say, “I think you’re wrong.” If you think someone needs help, say, “I feel like you may need some assistance with that. Let me help you out.” Simple vocabulary changes like these have a way of totally shifting a conversation.
- Learn How to Say No
Passive people tend to be “yes” people. Someone could ask them to do something that they definitely don’t want to do, but they’ll say yes just to please the other individual. As you seek to become more assertive, you need to learn the art of saying no. It’ll feel uncomfortable at first, but you’ll find it extremely liberating.
Step Up and Be Heard
You are a person with worth, dignity, and valid opinions. You deserve to be heard just as much as your spouse, coworker, boss, friend, or classmate. Reject passivity and become the assertive person you were meant to be – it’s the healthy thing to do.