UNDERSTANDING ASSERTIVENESS WITH ANXIETY: WHAT IT’S AND WHAT IT’S NOT

Assertiveness is a thing that lots of people, with and without social anxiety, have trouble with. Lots of people fear that being assertive means they shall encounter as pushy, selfish, or argumentative. For folks with social anxiety particularly, negative, harsh judgements such as for instance being regarded as pushy or mean, are something to be feared and avoided whenever possible.

Many individuals with social anxiety often take on an even more passive communication look and only being seen as nice, agreeable, and avoiding uncomfortable confrontation or conflict. However, when you’re more passive, we hold ourselves from expressing our needs back, desires, and interests. Developing assertiveness is vital to creating a full life packed with the career opportunities, relationships, and activities which make you are feeling more satisfied and confident.

Assertiveness: a Happy Medium

Many people experience discomfort and anxiety across the topic to be assertive because we lack an obvious understanding of what it is. Assertiveness just isn’t about arguing and pushing before you get what you need in a situation, but alternatively building effective back-and-forth communication which allows for the expression of the thoughts, feelings, and needs of both parties in the specific situation.

Being assertive is confused with being aggressive. Aggressive communication is once we force our needs on others, ignoring their rights and needs as an individual. The target in aggressive communication is domination and winning. Shouting or speaking in a loud voice, employing a condescending or sarcastic tone, and demeaning gestures such as for example excessive pointing, are typical signs in aggressive communication.

On another hand, passive communication has a tendency to consist more of behaviors such as for instance avoiding eye contact, speaking in a soft voice, posing statements as questions to produce them less direct, or laughing and making jokes to cover up or soften the plain thing we have been really wanting to say. In passive communication, we focus solely on the desires of each other and ignore our personal needs and wants.
Think of assertiveness as a happy medium between passive and aggressive communication. Assertiveness openly is really a way of, calmly, and expressing your opinions and needs directly, while actively hearing others before responding still. Assertive behaviors include well balanced eye contact, open up body language, and a primary and clear modulation of voice. The target isn’t winning or giving in, but striving for a compromise between yourself and one other individual.

The basic idea behind assertive communication is owning and taking responsibility for the thoughts and opinions, and stating them as your personal. For example, through the use of “I statements” you clearly own and state what it’s that you might want or are seeking. You want to avoid blaming others and diluting our statements behind questions or sarcasm also.

Assertiveness isn’t about winning or being pushy and selfish. It’s a genuine way of communicating that’s honest, clear, and direct in stating your preferences and opinions, while playing and respecting the wants of others also. Using I statements, open gestures, good eye contact, and an obvious, direct words are helpful action items as you put this into practice.

And among the best approaches to start asserting yourself is through practice. Whether that’s in the home in the mirror, with a therapist, or stepping outside your rut and setting up your own personal behavioral experiments, starting what your location is today is the first faltering step towards overcoming social anxiety and building living you would like and deserve.