One of the most important communication skills is to learn how to be more assertive. Assertive people have better control over their lives as they do not allow others to dictate what happens to them.
They know that this is their life and they own it. Many people own their life and what happens to them by practicing violence or aggression, but an assertive person stays far away from it. He uses the power of effective communication in getting what he wants, without upsetting anyone else.
There is a reason why being assertive is considered to be one of the best stress relief methods. If you think about it, if a person just submits to what everyone else has to say, never has his opinions or thoughts taken into consideration, is constantly being run over by others around him, he would obviously be a miserable person. He would also be harboring a lot of stress and frustration. He would probably even hate himself at times for not having enough confidence to be able to tell others that they are treating him unfairly.
Now think what would happen if this person practiced being more assertive? If he knew how to get his point across to the other person, if he knew how to communicate in a manner which would get him what he wants yet would prevent displeasing anyone as well, he would definitely be less stressed and less anxious. He would have his needs met, he would have other people listen to him and all of this is sure to lessen the stress levels.
Realistically this change to more assertive ways of thinking and acting will not happen overnight. It will take actually learning new skills and a willingness to practice over and over with a trusted friend who is able to be firm and supportive as well. Sometimes the change occurs more quickly with a coach who specializes in training others in assertiveness skills. (This is one of the many things I help people with on a regular basis.)
Less stress is just one of the many advantages assertiveness can bring you. Being assertive can help you improve your self esteem. It can help you minimize your conflicts hence it can strengthen or improve your relationships with others. It also improves your decision making skills. Assertive communication also helps you solve conflicts with ease as you become better at proposing solutions that at least get you what you want.
An assertive person also has his peers respecting him because they know that he is a person who not only realizes that he is important, but he treats other people likewise. Perhaps, the most prominent advantage of being assertive is the change you get to see in your work environment. When others see for themselves that you are not somebody to be pushed around like that and you take yourself seriously, that sets the theme for others to treat you well. Several studies suggest how assertive people are more satisfied at work.
Being able to stand up for yourself, being able to say no to others without causing any trouble are all assertive skills which may be difficult to master, but not impossible to do. Assertive skills can be acquired by practicing, though it takes time to acquire them. When you have spent all your life keeping quiet and letting other people get away with things, it is a major change. However, once you do become assertive, you will be better at expressing your feelings and as a result increase your chances of getting things done your way.
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