19 replies
How can I be assertive without coming across as a 'b****'. My whole life I've been struggling to stop being a doormat who cant say no to people always the bubbly friendly one. Now when I try to be assertive and not aggressive its a hit or miss. I try to start with a smile but not too sweet of a tone when greeting and then I use a firm tone. I feel this doesnt work whether its work or otherwise.

Could you'll give me some tips?
#assertive
  • Profile picture of the author Z1
    You are who you are. No need to change who you are. Change the way you respond to those who are unkind to you or ask to much from you
    .
    What you might think is your weakness might actually be your strength.

    Being likable and easy to get along with is a lot harder to learn , you have a gift. Be glad you have these skills.

    The key is how you respond to the response from others whom you perceive treat you poorly.

    You are in control .

    The best way is just to say No or thanks for the offer but I have plans already ect.. Only give a reason why if needed. It is Ok to say I just don't have time or some other excuse.

    What really seems to be the problem is your irrational feelings of guilt to please others. You have a right to take care of your needs first. Do not forget that. Good luck.

    Practice saying No!

    Before you know it will be easy. It is liberating and your deserve to feel empowered and live guilt free.
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  • Profile picture of the author YHmuWong
    What about say what you want and do what you say>>>.the last part means that you are building your assertiveness.
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  • Profile picture of the author Josh Mayers
    Originally Posted by oceania View Post

    How can I be assertive without coming across as a 'b****'. My whole life I've been struggling to stop being a doormat who cant say no to people always the bubbly friendly one. Now when I try to be assertive and not aggressive its a hit or miss. I try to start with a smile but not too sweet of a tone when greeting and then I use a firm tone. I feel this doesnt work whether its work or otherwise.

    Could you'll give me some tips?
    Hey oceania,

    I can definitely relate to you. In the past, I have lived most of my life struggling, and being a pushover. I believe that it is always a good thing to be nice, but I was that guy that was just TOO nice. As a matter of fact, there were some times when I felt like I just couldn't say no to people.

    What I have learned to do is to stand up for myself, and be firm in my decisions. That moment when I changed, I did lose some friends, but those were the main people who I always felt were taking advantage of me. Be warned, that you may lose some friends in the process of changing, but if they want out of your new life, then they never deserved to be there in the first place.

    Unfortunately, you can only call a very few people in this world a REAL friend. If they are not happy with your new lifestyle, it is because you are not living your life the way that they want you to live it.

    I would recommend you read the book "No Is A Complete Sentence" by Megan LeBoutillier. This is a book that has GREATLY changed my life, and I am sure it will help you too! :-)

    -Josh
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  • Just be yourself. I've been a B**ch and I've been a doormat. Was never completely comfortable with both. I figured I can speak my mind, stand my ground, and still be a nice person if I don't pretend to be someone I'm not. Don't think you have to be anyone other than yourself just because you think it would be good for business.
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  • Profile picture of the author dbostian
    I know folks who've been struggling with this as well, myself included. Took control of my life when I decided I didn't want to be pushed around anymore, even if it meant having to be mean.
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  • Profile picture of the author Maximus93
    I think you're always going to run into trouble there. It's just evolution in my opinion. Men can get away with being a dick/being aggressive to the extent that a woman can get away with crying. Do it every now and again? Fair enough you might just be having a bad time. Do it all the time and people won't like you.

    Imagine a grown man crying in front of you. Now you have just recognised the social backlash you'll receive for being strongly assertive and demanding.

    From a very personal perspective, I'd suggest you don't act more assertive. But I'm very tied into gender roles and think they're beneficial to society so make of it what you will.
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  • Profile picture of the author Trey Morgan
    You have to practice asserting yourself on a daily basis and eventually it will become more comfortable for you.

    You said that when you try to be assertive it comes off as aggressive, but isn't that the point?

    When someone is being assertive it is going to come off as aggressive to a certain extent especially if that person is normally very laid-back.

    I can't really give you specific advice because I'm not there to see exactly what you're talking about. I can only imagine what you're saying and the best advice I can give you is to practice being assertive until you figure out how to be assertive without coming off as aggressive.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ryan Raj
      I say pick your battles.If you can't say NO to their face on the spot.
      then just excuse yourself,go to the toilet,remove from that area so that you are not under any pressure to say YES.
      recompose yourself,then come back to the person and then say NO.
      Or always say "'Let me think about it,but if you want me to do it now ,my answer is NO''.
      When you want people to change their opinion about you,start saying NO,and don't explain yourself.
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  • Profile picture of the author master reseller
    Being assertive is more about knowing what you want and going after it and having clear boundaries of what you will and will not do. Just don't tolerate abuse from anyone for any reason as there is no sense in that. You can still be bubbly and friendly and polite and still assertive. Assertive is often mistaken for aggressive but the two things have a completely opposite meaning. When you are assertive, it also means you are not passive about going after what you want.
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  • Profile picture of the author slingingshot15
    You can start by setting boundaries - these are basically rules that you have in your life that other people know about and it would direct them as to what is permissible and what is not permissible around you.

    Don't Expect people to read your mind - one of the biggest mistakes we can make is making assumptions. Stop assuming.

    Try to stay cool no matter what someone may tell you and not get angry

    you should also get a book that teaches body language

    Realise it may take time to develop these characteristics.....
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  • Profile picture of the author ronrule
    Originally Posted by oceania View Post

    How can I be assertive without coming across as a 'b****'. My whole life I've been struggling to stop being a doormat who cant say no to people always the bubbly friendly one. Now when I try to be assertive and not aggressive its a hit or miss. I try to start with a smile but not too sweet of a tone when greeting and then I use a firm tone. I feel this doesnt work whether its work or otherwise.

    Could you'll give me some tips?
    Don't worry about the label... It's OK to be a b****.

    In business, all that matters is what you're getting out of the deal. People talk about all of this humanitarian B.S. and playing nicey nice with everyone, it's all talk. A business exists for one reason: so the persons who founded it can make money. Everything else - be it job creation, deal structure, investment ROI, etc. are secondary costs and benefits to achieving the goal of the founders. Period.

    Your job exists because someone else wanted to make more money and hired you to help them do it.

    The deal that's on the table is there because someone else wants something your company has, or your company wants something their company has. Your job isn't to make sure the other guy gets what he wants, your job is to get what YOUR company wants. That's the only reason your job exists - your company is paying you to do something to achieve the company's goal.

    Always enter all transactions with this mindset, personal and professional. Whether you're closing a deal, buying a car, deciding where to eat dinner, whatever. You want something out of that exchange - if you aren't getting what you want, you're losing.

    If that makes you a b****, then so be it - be proud of it. Because in the end, it really comes down to choosing which is more important: You can please yourself, or you can please others. A mix of both is OK, but consistently going with one when you really want the other will just keep you frustrated.
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  • Profile picture of the author JensSteyaert
    Originally Posted by oceania View Post

    How can I be assertive without coming across as a 'b****'. My whole life I've been struggling to stop being a doormat who cant say no to people always the bubbly friendly one. Now when I try to be assertive and not aggressive its a hit or miss. I try to start with a smile but not too sweet of a tone when greeting and then I use a firm tone. I feel this doesnt work whether its work or otherwise.

    Could you'll give me some tips?
    The first question that comes to mind when i read your post is: Why would you try to be a certain way?

    It's always best to just be yourself, if people don't like it then that's how it is.

    The main problem is not caring too much about what other people think about you. If you can do that a lot of doors will open;
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  • Profile picture of the author Dain Supero
    Write down a list of things you won't accept, behaviours you won't tolerate, boundaries you won't compromise.

    Then follow that list.
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  • Profile picture of the author elusian
    There is a difference between being a b**** and being assertive. An assertive person knows what they want and is clear when asking for it. They can compromise on details but not on their core values.

    If those around you are asking you to go against what you know is right then you have every right to firmly tell them so.

    As for being a pushover, it seems like you are making others more important than yourself. You can be kind to people and giving without putting yourself in last place.

    Make sure that you are in a good place first and then you can use any extra energy to graciously help others.
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    • Profile picture of the author grantveronica
      That's true. Being assertive is totally different from being a b****. Just be yourself.

      Don't be afraid to say no. You shouldn't be pleasing everybody 'cause they don't really care about that. If you say no and they feel bad about it, it's not your problem that they can't accept rejection.
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  • Yeah and don't be afraid to put your foot down. You don't need to focus on offending people, but you do need to understand that in life you have to let people know what you want, and what you stand for.

    I dealt with this for a long time too - what made all the difference was when I realized that people were trying to get over on me or walk all over me, that I said screw this - this is who I am, this is what I stand for, this is what I believe and that's it. PERIOD.

    No being a B**** when you decide to live your life like that - NO - the only thing that will happen is that you'll see your life improve because the people around you will know that you are not the one to be F**KED with.

    Hope that helps lol.
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  • Profile picture of the author mary_k
    One thing that's really important is not sacrificing your needs/wants for other peoples'. I know it sounds a little selfish but if you think about it, when someone asks you for a favor that you know they can do for themselves, aren't they the one who is being selfish?

    I used to hate saying no because I thought I would be offending the person. The irony is that by being a people-pleaser and always saying yes, you come across as having low self-esteem which to many is an offensive personality trait.
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  • Profile picture of the author RVS3
    BODY LANGUAGE.

    If you want to achieve any result, put your body in a state where it is able to produce the results you want.

    you cant be happy when you intentionally put a frown on your face.

    Throw your shoulders back, like you are wearing a cape, and walk with confidence.

    Do a simple exercise and walk around with the body language that is the exact OPPOSITE of assertive. Then switch around and walk around assertively. The more you switch back and forth the more you will pick up differences between the two, and you will increase your ability to be assertive on command.
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