5 Traits of Assertive People

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assertive people

“To be passive is to let others decide for you. To be aggressive is to decide for others. To be assertive is to decide for yourself. And to trust that there is enough, that you are enough.” ― Edith Eva Eger

It’s a new year and with every new year comes a desire to do things differently, to work to change our behavior, and also change the outcomes. Moreover, people also need to learn what to do, to get what they want from this new year.

A lot of my clients have expressed the need to speak up for themselves more, to ask for what they want and not let others lead the way. But many of them don’t know if they have it in them to do so.

With that in mind, I have compiled a list of what type of person gets what they want every time they go for it. Of course, not everyone has all of these traits and there are other traits that I don’t mention that assertive people have, but these 5 are the most common, in my experience.

Here Are 5 Traits of Assertive People that Help Them Get Anything They Want

1. Self-Awareness

A key part of getting what you want is knowing it.

How can you speak up for yourself if you aren’t clear on what it is that you need at the moment?

Imagine yourself at Starbucks. You know you want that Iced Caramel Macchiato. It’s your drink. And then you get a hot one. Do you suck it up and take the drink because you don’t want to be a bother or do you speak up because you really want it iced? I am guessing you will speak up because you know exactly what coffee drink you like and it’s important to your day that you have it.

It’s the same in life and in relationships, especially. If you know that you are unhappy about something, ask yourself why you are unhappy. If you were in charge of the world, what would you do to change that thing, so that you could be happy?

Once you know what that thing would be then you can ask for it clearly. Like your favorite iced beverage!

Related: How to Develop Self Awareness: 9 Must-See Tips for a Better Life

2. Self-Confidence

An important part of being the type of person who gets what they want is having the self-confidence to believe that you are worthy of what you want.

For many of us, we don’t believe that we are worthy. We are hesitant to ask for what we want because we believe that we should settle for what we get because we don’t deserve more.

Imagine that you know what you want and you have defined it precisely. And then picture yourself asking for it. How does that feel in your body? Does it feel good or do you have a big pit in your stomach?

Ask yourself what that pit means. Does it mean that you feel like you don’t deserve what you want? Does the idea of asking for it fill you with dread? A key part of getting what we want is believing that, what we want is all right – that we are worthy of asking and most importantly, worthy of being happy.

3. Honesty

The type of person who gets what they want is someone who is honest.

Going back to the coffee analogy, if you don’t speak up for the drink you want you aren’t being honest – with your barista or yourself.

Think about when you want your husband to stay home and he wants to go out and you don’t speak up about it. How do you feel then? Do you stay home, stewing, angry at yourself for not speaking your truth and angry at him for not recognizing (without being told) what you want?

It is important that, if you want to be assertive, you need to be honest with whoever you are dealing with. People can’t read minds and if you expect something from them you have to be transparent about it.

Related: The Most Assertive Zodiac Signs RANKED From Most To Least

4. Openness

People who get what they want are people who are open – open to what they want and open to listening to what other people want as well.

If your husband wants to go out and you don’t want him to, be open to him about it. Sit and have a proper conversation, instead of behaving in a passive-aggressive manner.

Tell him that you would prefer he stay at home but ask him why it’s so important to go out. He could very well have a good reason, a reason that you can accept and be okay with and then you can spend the night not stewing about why he left.

If you aren’t willing to listen and you behave as if it’s your way or the highway, then being assertive will get you nowhere. Furthermore, it will end up offending people. There are two people in every relationship and conversation, and both of them have needs that need to be met. Compromise is, of course, an option but you can’t compromise without information.

5. Composure 

A really big part of getting what you want is being able to ask for what you want – calmly and clearly.

If your husband wants to go out and you don’t, do you think you are more likely to get an outcome that makes you happy if you yell at your guy instead of speaking up calmly about what you want? Would you be willing to work on making someone else happy if they yelled at you?

It is important that, when we are being assertive, we pause and take a deep breath before we speak. That we think about what we want to say and say it in a way that the words will land on the other person. If we do so, we can get what we want.

I know that you are thinking about that person you know who always yells and gets what he wants. Let me ask you – do you like that person? Does anyone like that person? I am guessing not. His loud words get him what he wants but he offends people every time.

Related: 9 Personality Traits of Assertive People

Knowing what type of person gets what they want is the key to being happier in your life.

People who meekly go about their day, taking what others give them without a peep and killing their self-confidence in the process, are people who will ultimately find themselves living a life that doesn’t make them happy.

People who know what they want, who can self-confidently express with honesty and clarity are people who are happy with what they have and happy to share what they have with others.

Imagine feeling that way. You can do it! Work to cultivate the personality traits on my list and you can successfully live the life that you have always wanted.


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