Are you wondering how to be assertive in relationships? Is yours struggling and are you worried that your lack of assertiveness may be part of the problem?
I have built a business around helping people who are struggling in relationships. Unfortunately, there are many people struggling because relationships are really, really hard.
More than any other reason, I believe lack of assertiveness as the basis of many relationship issues, for both men and women.
Most women aren’t naturally assertive – we tend to sit back and follow other people’s lead and be happy enough with the outcome.
Men often lack assertiveness because they want to keep the peace but, in the end, they are left bitterly unhappy.
Fortunately, many of us have learned the skill of assertiveness in relationships and we have figure out the best things to do.
So, let me share with you my secrets about how to be assertive in relationships.
#1 – Have self-awareness.
People who are assertive in relationship are people who know themselves and they know what they want in a relationship.
I know when I was married, I knew I was unhappy but I didn’t know why. When we went to marriage counseling there was always discussion around the nebulous cloud that was my unhappiness but we never attacked it directly because I couldn’t define what it was.
Since I have become more self-aware, I have realized what happiness means to me – to be noticed, to be heard, to be valued, to be seen. When those things happen, I feel loved and I am happy.
If you aren’t self aware, take some time to develop that personality trait. Take stock of what is important to you in a relationship so that you know what to ask for when the time comes.
#2 – Be self-confident.
People who are assertive in relationships are very often self-confident.
Why? Because to be able to ask for what you want in a relationship, you have to believe in yourself, in your self-worth.
I know many people who are self-aware, who know what they want in a relationship, but who don’t ask for it because they don’t believe themselves to be worthy. And if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Taking stock of why you are worthy, in the world and in love, will get you a long way towards being assertive in a relationship and getting you the love that you seek.
#3 – Communicate clearly.
So, let’s say you know what you want and you believe that you are worthy of getting it but you have no freaking idea of how to ask for it.
You are there, sitting across from your person, having a heart to heart and when the time comes to ask for what you want you just can’t find the words. And if you don’t have the words to ask for what you want, how are you going to get it?
Are you a good communicator? If you are, great! If you aren’t, find a friend, or a life coach, and have them work with you to find the words to ask for what you want. It’s not as hard as it seems – it’s a skill that needs to be cultivated, just like any other.
#4 – Use your intuition.
My husband used to say that he would never be able to have an affair because my Spidey-sense would just know. I used to laugh but I know that it’s true – it was hard for him to get away with anything, good or bad, because my intuition was usually dead on.
People who have a strong intuition that they can rely on are usually excellent at being assertive in relationships. Why? Because people who are intuitive trust their gut. They trust that they know what they want and believe that their instincts around others are dead on.
By having faith in oneself, and one’s perceptions of others, it is easy to speak up and ask for what you want because you truly believe.
If you don’t already, listen when your gut tells you something. If you have a ‘feeling’ that something is off, trust that feeling. Don’t rationalize it away. Speak up!
#5 – Be resolute.
Being assertive in relationships is simply impossible without being resolute.
Do you know that person, perhaps you see her in the mirror, who just can’t make up her mind?
She knows that she wants something but she can’t quite put her finger on what it is. As a result, when she tries to ask for what she wants she fails because there is no conviction behind her words.
How does one cultivate the personality trait of being resolute? Start small. Choose one thing that is important to you and do it, no matter what. Set your intention and don’t let anything get in your way.
Once you see the power of what happens if you set your mind to something you will want to practice it in all areas of your life.
Learning how to be assertive in relationships is very important and can be a challenge but one worth meeting.
In this crazy world, we need to identify what it is we want, we need to believe that we are worthy, we need to be able to speak to what those things are, we need to trust our gut and we need to be resolute in making it happen.
Don’t spend your life and love allowing things to just happen, hoping for the best. Decide what you want in a relationship and go for it! NOW!
Are you struggling with being assertive in relationships?
I know it can be really, really hard. Let me help before your relationship falls apart!
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s get started!
I am a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. My writing has been published on The Huffington Post, Prevention, Psych Central, Pop Sugar, MSN and The Good Man Project, among others. I work with all kinds of people to help them go from depressed and overwhelmed to confident and happy in their relationships and in their world.