Being Assertive: Yay or Nay?

Building communication is not an easy thing. Have you ever said something that turned out to be misunderstood by others? Or, did someone feel offended by your words when you do not mean it? That’s because communication itself cannot satisfy all parties.

Also, not everyone can communicate openly and decisively without having to hurt the feelings of others. Therefore, assertive communication is needed to solve this problem. To find out more about this communication skill, and how to use it for your own good, get the answers below.

What Is Assertive Communication?

Assertive communication is the ability to express opinions effectively without having to look aggressive. In general, assertive people can communicate their opinions and feelings honestly, but their words do not make others feel patronized or demeaned.

Sure, applying this type of communication would make you an authentic person because “Yes” will always mean “Yes”, and so does for “No”. Even so, other people may not always agree or follow you, but at least they will trust you.

Characteristics of Assertive Communication Style

Specifically, the communication style refers to how you express feelings and thoughts through indirect messages and behavior. And in assertive communication, they usually show these following behaviors:

  1. Assertive personality can explain feelings and opinion clearly. And usually, their opinions are always accepted by related parties.
  2. Assertive people can express their opinions or feelings patiently, without intending to attack others.
  3. The firm is one of the communication styles occupied by an assertive character. But still, they also do not like to impose their will on others.
  4. When building good communication, assertive people only want to hold in clear and rational conditions.
  5. Assertive people always try to maintain the truth in their words. Although in the end, it may trigger conflict, they may still try to maintain the feelings of others.
  6. A positive approach is also another advantage of an assertive communicator. When faced with problems, they always put aside negative emotions that can complicate the problem.
  7. Confidence and open-minded are other good points of assertive people, which make them quite respected in their social network.
  8. Assertive personality is always open to receive feedback from others, both positive and negative.
  9. A positive and optimistic vision is always put forward by an assertive communicator.
  10. Known to be good at negotiating, assertive people always adhered to the concept of a win-win solution.

Assertive Communication Techniques

Having assertive communication to work effectively, you can apply the following techniques.

  • Learn to use proper body language. First, maintain your eye contact and then keep your posture relaxed. Also, be sure that your facial expressions are in line with the message delivered.
  • Always focus on the topic being discussed. Don’t focus on trying to blame or corner the other person.
  • When expressing some opinions, better use facts and not just assumptions.
  • If the topic is out of line, do a repetition of what you are discussing at that time. You have to do it to return the focus on the right dialogue.
  • Perform a fogging technique. Fogging is the ability of an assertive speaker to respond defensively, without making others feels rejected.
  • Before opening further discussion, give others time to calm down, especially if the discussion was tinged with heated debate.
  • Always maintain your intonation while conveying firmness. Thus, conflict can be avoided.

Why Being Assertive Important?

Being assertive may certainly give you many benefits. If you succeed in using it for your own good, that skill may help you in building a large social network. So, here are the reasons why this communication skill is very important to develop:

  • Assertiveness makes you not hesitate to ask for what you want. Most people don’t succeed in getting what they want just because they don’t dare to express it directly. Therefore, you need assertive communication skill.
  • Assertiveness also makes it easier for you to build a broad social network. By mastering an assertive communication style, you may easily build better relationships, whether with colleagues or in personal life.
  • Being assertive would also make you more confident and authentic. Sure, this skill will make you a true version of yourself.

Final Thoughts

If you do it properly, assertive communication can provide many benefits. For instance, with this communication style, you can build better relationships and be able to express opinions honestly.

However, the application of assertive communication can be conceptual. In certain situations, your assertive behavior may be considered as an act of aggressiveness by others. Even so, assertive communication is still a good choice for building a better personal or career life.

“To be passive is to let others decide for you. To be aggressive is to decide for others. To be assertive is to decide for yourself. And to trust that there is enough, that you are enough. “

—By Edith Eva Eger, in the book of The Choice: Embrace the Possible.

What You Need to Know about Scarcity Mindset

Have you ever felt a bit of jealousy when your colleague gets promoted? Or are you feeling insecure about your financial status? It’s time to be aware of such feelings because most of the time, they may indicate a thinking state, namely scarcity mindset, which is not good for your mental state.

What is Scarcity Mindset?

Scarcity mindset, also known as scarcity mentality, refers to the belief that something will never be enough. Matters in question can be anything: money, time, foods, opportunity, feelings, emotion, relationships, health, power, etc. Some people with this mindset think that they are always poor or never have enough money to fulfill their needs. Meanwhile, some others feel anxious because they believe that there’s no opportunity left for them.

The mindset is further perpetuated by the feeling of jealousy, insecurity, and giving up. When hearing the news of others’ success story in any aspect, those who have a scarcity mindset will feel worried and insecure. They also hold a belief that because of others’ success, the chance for them to reach the same achievement will decrease, or worse, disappear.

Signs of Scarcity Mindset

As mentioned earlier, the notion of scarcity mindset mainly revolves around self-insecurity. Moreover, below are some other major signs that can indicate when someone has this mindset.

1.     Feeling envious or jealous of others

One of the most common signs which show a scarcity mindset is envy or jealousy. You feel unhappy with what others have and at the same time, wishing that you also have their success or achievement. These feelings will also stir you to be less grateful for what you already have.

2.     Always comparing everything to others

In addition to being jealous or envious, scarcity mindset will lead you to compare what you have with what others have. This happens continuously until you feel some kind of incomplete feeling when you haven’t compared your worth to others around you. Your self-esteem and self-worth will also depend on those comparisons.

3.     Having difficult times to share

People with a scarcity mindset are far from being generous. In fact, if you linger in this mindset, you will find it difficult to share anything with others, whether it is money, time, or other things.

4.     Feeling subconsciously happy when others fail

If you have a scarcity mentality, you may like it when seeing others fail, even without you realize it. When others succeed, you feel insecure because of the belief that they may steal what should be yours. Conversely, when others fail, you assume that the chance to be more successful than them has increased.

5.     Expressing words or thoughts of scarcity

Besides other signs mentioned above, the most obvious indication of a scarcity mentality is actually expressed through words or thoughts that are said out loud. Some expressions such as “I can’t do this,” “I don’t have enough money,” or “I am not smart/good/qualified enough,” perfectly indicate the mindset of scarcity. These negative thoughts are considered the manifestation of insecure feelings that build up inside.

Its Negative Effects

Looking at the signs and indications, a scarcity mindset is not good for your mental and personal state. It can shape your way of thinking as well as affect your attitudes and behaviors when interacting with others.

With scarcity in mind, you will always feel that plentiful resources in the world are limited. This can lead to a negative competition which is actually not necessary. You will experience a hard time to share, work, or make relationships with other people. As a result, you show poor performance when working in teams because you think that success should be achieved by individuals, not by groups.

In the worst case scenario, the scarcity mindset prevents you from being successful. Because you are always driven by fear and insecurity, you will feel that there is not enough time or resources that can support you. The negativity of this mindset will also limit your opportunity to accomplish any achievement.

How to Deal with a Scarcity Mindset

Any mindset or ways of thinking are always open to change, so is a scarcity mindset. In the late 1980s, Stephen Covey introduced the term ‘abundance mentality’ in his best-selling book entitled The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. This mindset serves as the positive opposite of the scarcity mentality.

Abundance mentality is believed to be an effective way that can help you deal with the scarcity tendency. In general, this concept can shape a new positive mindset by applying the following principles:

  • Always be happy and grateful for whatever you have.
  • Be curious, yet still appreciative, with others’ experience to reach their goals.
  • Focus on unlimited resources and possibilities that haven’t been explored yet.
  • Cultivate your passion to do what motivates you.
  • Take small actions to achieve your big goals.
  • Use positive affirmations when you need to solve problems.
  • Take time to consider your thoughts, so that you can shift them as soon as you feel the signs of scarcity.

That concludes the basic information you need to know about the scarcity mindset. Hopefully, understanding the notion of this way of thinking can help you avoid its harmful effects and motivate you to reshape any negative mindset.