Written and verified by the psychologist GetPersonalGrowth.
Last update: 15 November 2022
Assertive people are neither submissive nor subservient and do not use narcissistic or disrespectful arrogance. A typical feature of these people is their ability to resolve conflicts and differences. They are skilled in defending their rights, original when it comes to having to relieve tensions and resolve misunderstandings with the serenity of those who know how to control their emotions.
It is known that assertiveness is that essential ingredient capable of improving our communication style and the quality of our relationships. However, we often sin of agility, energy and effective ability in this strategy which, like it or not, is not innate.
"Neither submission nor aggression, only assertiveness".
Many of us struggle to be consistent with what they think and what they do. Little by little we accumulate so much frustration and discomfort that, at some point, we end up reacting in the worst way. Assertiveness is above all an exercise of personal dignity that must always act as a cog in every situation.
One of them, perhaps one of the most important, concerns relational conflicts. Whether in the professional or personal field, there is always some time of the day, week or month in which we are forced to defend territories, opinions and even our identity. Knowing how to manage these moments without falling into servility or verbal aggression is a priority.
7 strategies for resolving conflicts assertively
Fear of hurting others, of not knowing how to express anger or disagreement without falling into offense or sharp criticism, fear of not having the resources to extricate themselves from the meshes of manipulation… We could bring further examples of this exhausting architecture that corrodes our self-esteem when we fail to be assertive and agile in reacting and defending our rights.
It must be said that it is not easy to succeed overnight, however, it is important to keep in mind that these resources can be effectively learned, trained and applied as we understand them. Let's see below what are the strategies used by assertive people to deal with everyday conflicts.
1. Assertive people stand up for their raison d'etre
We could call it dignity, self-esteem, self-love. We all need to be clear about what is fundamental, what we must protect at all costs, what defines us, our raison d'etre and that no one must violate.
We have our values, which no one should ever step on. We have a history, a personal fabric that no other person should attack or ridicule. We have the right to have opinions, passions, to defend our ideas, to be free, to act in accordance with our identity without hurting anyone. Each of these dimensions is part of our motivations, our reasons for being.
2. Speak in first person without fear
We often feel a certain fear of that personal pronoun that collects our essence, our reason for being and will. "I think, I believe, I need ..."
When assertive people resolve their conflicts, they are not afraid to make use of this pronoun, they do not hide or dilute it. For this reason, they do not hesitate to start a sentence in the following way: "I feel hurt and, although I understand your position, you must understand that I am offended by your behavior because you have not respected my rights, because I think that things can work out. between the two of us if we talk to each other with more sincerity and respect… ".
3. They do not linger, describe the harmful behavior or the central problem
In order to resolve conflicts, manage discrepancies or misunderstandings, the last thing to do is to linger by accusing, berating or emphasizing just how bad we are.
You have to be direct, concise and constructive like assertive people. To do this, we need to focus on the core of the problem: “I feel disappointed because you have not considered my opinion. I think that if we are a team, it is necessary that you communicate things to me ”.
4. Assertive people make clear and direct requests
Effective communication, the one that makes use of assertiveness, knows that to resolve conflicts it is necessary to make requests, requests that lead to a good resolution and that guide us towards an agreement.
So, one thing we need to keep in mind about assertiveness is that it's not enough just to express how we feel. It is also necessary to direct the dialogue or discussion towards a constructive purpose. For example:
- “I don't like screams. They make me feel bad. Next time, please use a less aggressive tone, a normal voice with which to communicate things to me ”.
- “I feel disappointed that you didn't inform me of your idea. I ask you to take me into consideration on the next occasions so that, among all, we can realize better projects ”.
Accept that sometimes there is no agreement possible
Assertive people know and understand that when it comes to resolving conflicts or misunderstandings, a term or an agreement between the parties is not always reached. Often the differences remain, keeping two positions, two attitudes, two behaviors separate.
We must not despair about it or get further angry. Good emotional management of assertive people, in these cases, allows them to accept these situations. In the end, people are not obliged to agree on everything, to see things from the same perspective. The secret is knowing how to respect the perspectives of others.
If a conflict does not end well and the person in front of us does not argue or respond or propose and just offend and intensify the negative emotions, the best thing is to walk away. It is an attitude that assertive people are well aware of and because of this, far from falling into a useless dynamic, they know that the ideal is to keep calm and get away.
It is often said that assertiveness is that intermediate point between who kneels and who crushes his interlocutor. Assertive people move on the sphere of those who, day after day, know each other best and are more skilled in defending themselves without attacking and they work ingeniously to effectively solve everyday problems.