5 Tips to Shift From Impossibly Passive to an Assertive “Tough Guy/Girl”

5 Tips to Shift From Impossibly Passive to an Assertive “Tough Guy/Girl”

We can all stand to toughen up a bit and be more assertive.  Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this. I’ve a lot of experience to offer on this topic, and believe the tips on this page will help a lot of you make the shift. See, I used to be really passive — afraid of conflict or of offending other people’s sensitivities.

The problem comes down to the old saying that “nice guys always finish last.” The same saying applies to women equally. Am I telling you to become a total jerk? Not at all.

Life’s all about actually living

Being assertive means you’re not afraid to take chances. You jump into situations with confidence and let the cards fall where they may. This, rather than being passive — afraid of what the other person is going to say, or that you’ll fall off the horse you’re riding, etc.

Being non-assertive means you’re missing out on opportunities — in love, life, and business. Check out the tips below, then leave a comment and let me know what you think. Trust me, they work, but only if you’re 100% committed!

1. Never let guilt into the picture.

Guilt follows us around throughout life. It tells us not to speak our mind, lest we hurt someone’s feelings like we did to a classmate in the third grade when we pointed out they had a pimple.

Guilt is a huge burden and it holds us back from taking chances. It also eats up our insides. Let it go!

2. Shame has to go too.

I’ll bet all of you can think of at least ten situations in your life you still feel shame over. If it’s something bad you did, you need to forgive yourself. If someone made you feel shame, let that go too. I have a strange issue to bring up regarding shame, and I hope it doesn’t offend. A friend and I were taking a “number one” in the woods near a stream when I was around seven years old.

Some older local teens came and kicked us both straight in the rear, sending us flying into the water with our pants down. The shame I felt from this carried on into my late twenties — I couldn’t use public urinals or relieve myself (when appropriate) when anyone was within “kicking distance” of me. While the ladies reading this might not relate, guys can certainly imagine how much discomfort this caused me when out drinking with the boys and such.

tips to be more assertive

3. Debate, don’t argue.

Donald Trump certainly doesn’t follow this advice, but he’s just lucky to be as powerful as he is. He was much less arrogant when he was younger (you can see this in lots of videos). Nonetheless, when you engage in healthy debates, listen and keep your cool, interactions with people — even mean people, become much more positive.

The more positive your interactions, the more people will respect you, and the more your confidence will grow. Practice until you can do this flawlessly — never let anger into the picture. Though, make sure to do this with a smile on your face for the most part, or people will think you’re a sociopath!

4. Let go of past rejections and the feeling of rejection overall.

Some human beings just don’t gel. If everyone treats you negatively, you obviously need to work on your communication skills — most likely how and what you say and/or your empathy toward others. However, there are a lot of kind, yet passive people who decided at some point in their life that the feeling of being rejected was nature’s way of telling them to never try again.

Think of all the people you know who treat rejection the same way most people take a compliment. Think of it as getting a step closer to your goals. This takes practice. You have to steel yourself whenever a rejection comes and remind yourself that it isn’t personal. Even if it is personal, you’ll just end up holding yourself back the next time if you hang onto it.

tips to be more assertive

5. Agree with people more (and less).

This is a tricky little tip if you just read the sub-heading. See, there are a couple of variables that affected me, and I bet many of you when it comes to agreeing with others. Passive people often stubbornly hold on to an argument or an idea or two because they’re close minded, despite scientific evidence, etc., to the contrary. This leads to negative interactions and causes future passive behavior.

So, be more open minded and don’t beat people to death with silly arguments (like politics and religion). Passive people also tend to agree with way too many things strangers say. Why? Opinions will vary, but most people can tell you’re being fake and won’t want to spend time with you anymore. This kills confidence, thus reducing future assertiveness.

The trick is to doing all these things all the time. Make a commitment and never look back and you’ll find yourself being more confidently assertive in no time. Patience definitely required!

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