Part of being fearless about the things that matter in life involves not being afraid to say what you think. Does this mean you have to be brittle all the time or turn everything into a harsh negotiation? Of course not. But it does mean not being afraid to be assertive when that really matters. If you’re never assertive, it’s easy for others to take that role for you, and before long that prevents you from being capable. As strange as it sounds, a healthy relationship with those you love demands the ability to be assertive. Parents figure this out rather quickly, especially when trying to prepare their children for the morning school run. But if you’ve found this difficult growing up, or you don’t have much experience with it, you may find it hard to begin. So, how can you assert yourself correctly in a relationship? In this post, we’ll discuss some helpful tips you can take, without feeling like you’re asking too much:
Stand Firm On Core Values
It’s much easier to be assertive when you’re convinced of the importance of what you’re arguing for. For example, perhaps you’re very family-oriented, and your partner isn’t. If they have a problem with you seeing your family so often, inviting them to events, or being close to them, then explaining that this is so important to you as family is a core value is hard to disagree with. You can quibble over the basics, such as if you really need to invite your whole family for every holiday, but it’s also important to convey why you make these decisions as you come to an agreement.
Being Assertive Doesn’t Mean Getting Your Way 100% Of The Time
It’s easy to mistake assertiveness for simply winning arguments. That’s not what it is. Being truly assertive, especially in a co-operative relationship, is about putting your viewpoint forward and coming to a healthy compromise where you can. It’s about giving a little and taking a little. If you want to have more control over the finances of the household, discussing that is important. It’s important to be constructive, not dismissive, but also never afraid to say what you think.
Reinforce Mutual Respect
Couples that lack respect for one another usually end up in a quick divorce. That’s never healthy. It’s why asserting yourself in a relationship means being respectful first if you hope to get respect back. That means active listening to what they say, and responding in kind. It’s about being honest, but also not neglecting to mention your own needs. It’s also about never being afraid to have the hard discussions, even if that’s disagreeing on a matter of principle, or learning where your boundaries should be with one another. Asserting yourself means you contribute to a final agreement which actually works for both parties. It also means only engaging when co-operation is on the cards, instead of trying to dominate and score points. With this advice, you’re sure to assert yourself more capably in any relationship.