How To Be Assertive Without Being Rude
Don't Be Rude, Be Assertive!
Have you ever tried to be assertive with another person and then immediately questioned yourself: Did I come across as rude? Was I able to put my point across without hurting her? There is a fine line between rudeness and assertiveness, which may be blurred for a lot of people. However, knowing the right ways to be assertive can help you overcome this self-questioning and have a clearer insight as to what kind of communication you have been using. Using very less of assertiveness could lead to coming off as passive, controllable, and agreeable even if you disagree with another person whereas using too much of it could lead to coming off as controlling and inconsiderate of other people’s feelings. Therefore, it is vital to be the right amount of assertive.
Watch your tone – Do not be too loud or too soft. The tone of your voice should be like the tone one uses in a normal conversation. Ask for what you want without belittling the other person or forcing them into doing something.
Watch your body language – Keep yourself relaxed and your jaws unclenched. Lean toward the other person (but not too much!) and keep your body upright. Your facial expressions should be either positive or neutral. However, this would require practice as it is difficult to control our body language if we are feeling the opposite of what we are trying to show. We need to know from the inside we are not trying to dominate the other person neither are we inferior to them because our body language mostly mirror what we are feeling.
Use statements with “I” – Using statements with “I” rather than “You” helps avoid the other person feeling blamed or accused. Try to voice out your feelings by saying “I don’t agree” or “I feel angry" rather than “You are wrong” or “You made me angry”. This helps in expression of your reactions without putting the other person in the spotlight.
Be polite – Try to say what you what you want to say in a calm and respectful manner. Do not lose your calmness. Keeping your cool makes you look in control of what you are saying. If you do not do this, your assertiveness will not be effective. You have every right to stand up if you feel like you are being treated unfairly but having a control over the emotions is a vital step if you really want to stand up.
Make the right amount of eye contact – Make sure that you do not use too little or too much of eye contact. The former can make the other person feel like you are not interested in them and the latter can make you look like you are trying to control them. Making the right amount of eye contact is necessary as it makes the other person feel like you are ready to listen to them and that you respect their views.