Centuries ago, the Roman poet Ausonio said: “whoever does not know how to be silent will not know how to speak”. The truth is that in the world we live in there are more and more people who speak and fewer who listen. The almost obsessive desire to spend time always doing something also pushes us to talk, as if silence were an uncomfortable companion from which we must get rid of as soon as possible. But many times we communicate more by staying in silencePeople who talk a lot learn little and, eventually, by hogging the conversation, they end up being shunned by others when they realize they don't have a space to express their feelings and ideas. You certainly learn more by listening than by speaking. So sometimes it is necessary to learn to say more by speaking less. Sometimes, talking less means being more assertive.
2. Don't be afraid of silence. Mark Twain said, "Adequate speech can be effective, but no word has ever been so effective as adequate silence." The ability to be silent towards another person creates a whole new feeling of intimacy. In fact, remaining silent without feeling uncomfortable with another person indicates that we have reached a point in the relationship where there is no need to fill in the gaps. There are situations in life where, instead of annoying with an empty speech, a person just needs to have us by his side, in silence, supporting him emotionally.
3. Summarize your ideas. A conversation needs at least two parts, which means we should be assertive enough to allow others to express their feelings and ideas. If we monopolize the conversation, it will become a monologue that will end up boring others. Therefore, when you express an idea or tell a story, get to the point, don't get lost in insignificant details, so as to leave room for others to talk about their experiences.
4. Pay attention to the reactions of others. A conversation is like a dance, in which everyone has to pay attention to the reactions of others and act accordingly. In fact, the French philosopher Montaigne said that: "the word is half of whoever pronounces it and half of who listens to it". Unfortunately, many times we are so caught up in our subject that we forget about the other. But the key to assertiveness lies in capturing and deciphering the reactions of our interlocutor, to see if he is bored or no longer following us. In this case, it will be enough to correct the course, choosing an appropriate phrase or simply remaining silent.
5. Listen, listen, listen ... someone said we have two ears and one mouth and we should use them in this proportion. When practicing active listening, one does not assume a passive attitude, on the contrary, it shows our interlocutor that he is an important person for us and we are interested in his message. The act of listening conveys respect and interest, it is a way of saying that our interlocutor can trust us and we are interested in his opinions and needs. So don't interrupt all the time, listen to others. Remember that there are times when a perfect speech and the most logical reasons are useless, when the soul needs to cry the best we can do is to become good listeners. Because, as Julio Cortázar said: “words are not enough when what you have to say overflows the soul”.