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How To Be More Assertive: Why We Say Yes When We Want To Say No

Nov 15, 2007
We say yes when we mean no when we lack assertiveness. We are more assertive when we have adequate love and respect for ourselves. The way to have more love and respect for oneself is to mentally repeat throughout the day how much you love yourself and focus on the value you have as a human being.

When we recognize that we have value we are more likely to recognize that others have value as well. When we respect others we will respect that that person will be rational when we do say no to them. One must begin with an objective yet positive expectation that their refusing to follow some order will be alright in the end.

There are a number of things one can do to be more assertive. First one can think of a conflicting situation in a more constructive light. There is the possibility that the two parties can agree to disagree. Just because there is a conflict does not mean that there has to be disrespect.

Most people will respect you when you stand your ground. They will know where your limits are and they will be clearer on where they can go next. When you are assertive you not only improve your own position but the position of others.

One of the major reasons why people can't say no to others is because of their social upbringing. They were told by their parents to not be "selfish" and to help others whenever asked. The reality is that being selfless causes one to become more dependent on others. If one is spending all their time fulfilling the duties of others they are not taking adequate care of their own needs and wants.

Self esteem can be built through practice and through observing one's actions. We are more assertive when we know more about ourselves and where we stand. Take time to evaluate your values and convictions. Are you standing up for these. Are your goals congruent with others and if not is there room for compromise. If there is no room for compromise then consider how to stand your ground in a tactful manner.

The only ones who can make us feel obligated to do something is ourselves. Likewise the only one who has the power to strike fear in us is ourselves. If others are trying to intimidate you into doing something you don't want to do then repeat that persons name and tell them they are not listening to you. If they still refuse to stop the harassment then simply cut off contact with them, leave the room, or hang up the phone. Sooner or later they will get the message.

The more you say no to others the easier it will get to say it. The next instant you don't feel you should do something "no" will be your automatic response instead of "yes". Our habits even affect our relationships with others. When you get into a habit of asserting yourself you will come away with more self respect and greater respect from others.
About the Author
Paul Barron works in the publishing field. You can visit his blog at http://pbarron.com/
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