Your opinion counts: the art of assertion
Being assertive is something that does not come natural to many of us. However, lack of assertiveness can often set you back. Not only can it make group interaction difficult, it make one come across as timid and uncertain of oneself, but it can also hinder you from getting what you want and reaching your goals.
The theme of the month here at SAStudy is “Your Opinion Counts”. Therefore, we decided to gather a few tips to assert yourself better and get your opinion out there loud and clear!
Overcome fear of criticism. It’s a natural part of life! Being critiqued helps us become more self-aware and think of the situation from another angle. This anxiety eases with time once one practices self-assertion more and more.
Use the correct wording. If you are unhappy about something, it is best to say how the situation made you feel rather than using accusatory language. This entails using “I” language rather than “you” language. For example, say “It upset me that you missed our lunch date” rather than “You missed our lunch date. You always cancel at the last minute.”
Don’t be afraid to disagree with people – even if they’re your friends! It can even, in some cases, make your relationship stronger because it encourages honesty and mutual discussion.
Listen to others. Their opinion counts just as much as yours does. They may present valid points you have not yet considered or open the floor for debate.
Ask questions and stay informed – the more you know about a situation, the better you will be able to provide a valid and rational opinion that fits its context.