There are all kinds of people in the world, and some will walk all over you, if you don’t learn about speaking up for yourself. Here are some steps to doing just that.
1. Develop a system of beliefs that give you the strength to assert yourself
If you don’t have an opinion, if you do not believe in anything, then how can you speak with any degree of conviction and confidence?
Read what’s being said about politics, the government, your local schools and business concerns, and ask yourself: how do I feel about these things, and why do I feel that way?
Once you develop a core set of beliefs and opinions, you’ll be better able to speak up for yourself.
2. Don’t allow people to interrupt you
Too often, people get interrupted while they’re speaking, and they don’t say anything. They don’t want to be seen as rude, despite the fact that someone else was just rude to them!
Do not stand for interruptions. Don’t become highly defensive or snippy; you can just say something like, “Excuse me, I was speaking. Do you mind if I finish my sentence?”
3. Cut down on behaviors which limit your ability to speak
There are some body language actions that people use naturally but which don’t help you to speak up for yourself. Often, a smile, a nod of the head, a dropping of the eyes, a tilt of the head are counter-productive to being more assertive.
Reduce those actions, and speak.
4. Speak clearly and to the point
When speaking up for yourself you need to speak clearly and not mumble or talk under your breath. Speaking clearly sends the message about how confident you are in getting what you want.
You also need to get to the point as quickly as possible when you are speaking up for yourself. Getting to the point sends the message that you are serious about what you want and not to be easily deterred from getting it.
5. Slow the pace down
Some people talk rapidly when they are speaking up for themselves. This sends the message that you are nervous and not confident about what you are speaking up for. When speaking up for yourself you should speak at a moderate pace, much like you would when you are having a conversation with your family members or friends.
6. Eye contact
It’s said that the eyes are the window to the soul, and that the way to assert domination in the animal world is through the use of the eyes.
When you are trying to stand up for yourself, the eyes are vital. Learn to maintain good eye contact, but don’t stare at a person. Maintaining soft and easy eye contact and breaking it off every few minutes for a few seconds will help you in getting your point across.
If you stand there, eyes cast down to the floor and try to (as an example) get a raise, you’ll fail.
7. Learn to listen
Part of speaking up for yourself is not speaking at all.
First, listen and learn all that you can about the people you’re trying to stand up for yourself with. By learning what they believe in, what their views are, and what’s important in their lives, you can get clues to being more assertive.
As you can see, speaking up for yourself is not only very important, but you can learn how to do it, if you follow a few simple steps. Select the technique or techniques above best suited to your lifestyle, and learn them.