Do you know that Spongebob episode where Plankton yells at Spongebob to be more assertive? That’s kind of what I want this blog post to be.
Okay, not really, but I do want to talk to you about being more assertive – because it’s going to be an incredibly useful tool as you learn to stick up for yourself.
Being assertive is letting someone know what you need and desire, as well as how you feel. It shows confidence, dignity and self-respect. People who are non-assertive (passive) are often quiet, they come off insecure and sometimes can’t get their basic needs met.
Don’t confuse being assertive with being aggressive – they are two completely different things. Here are some great ways you can stick up for yourself without coming off aggressive!
Don’t be afraid of the negative
Life lesson number one: you can’t always say yes to everyone. This is something I used to struggle with in the workplace a lot. I wanted people to like me and to think I was a hard worker. So much, that I overworked myself. It’s important to realize that your own health always comes first.
Very often the fear of standing up for yourself comes from a fear of what the outcome will be. A co-worker will think you’re lazy, a friend will think you don’t like them etc. But I have noticed that people value my time more and overall respect me more as a human being when I started saying no every so often.
Stand up straight and speak clearly
Nothing is worse than looking at the ground while you’re trying to speak up for yourself. Your body language says a lot about you. Also, did you know that standing up straight literally makes you feel more powerful? According to a Fast Company article that referenced a study by researchers from Columbia and Harvard Universities, individuals who were in power poses “not only felt more powerful and in control, but were 45 percent more likely to take a risky bet.”
Assertiveness comes with practice, and the more you do it the better you’ll become at it. Soon, you’ll become less afraid of what might happen and boom! Now you’re just that much more confident!