Tip #1 – Take the time to study your relationship with him. Pay attention to the tone and body language and read between the lines to discover what is really being said. Try to stay objective and view it from an audience’s perspective.
Tip #2 – It’s important to also take the time to listen to what is being said and reflect those thoughts back to him. If he contends that “You are a control freak” then respond with something like “So you think I’m controlling” so that you can gauge his reaction and see if that is really what he means. Don’t just focus on the words though, pay attention to how they’re being said too.
Tip #3 – Reflect on past arguments or conversations and write down what you actually wanted to say in those situations and rehearse your response out loud so that you’re better prepared in the future.
Tip #4 – Always speak assertively in every conversation and make sure that you strive to speak the truth, but do so in a calm way. If you feel yourself slipping back into a more passive stance, take a deep breath and start again.
Tip #5 – If he resists, calmly repeat what you want to say again and again until he understands that you’re not going to revert to a passive or aggressive stance.
Tip #6 – Consider finding a life coach or taking communication courses that place an emphasis on assertive communication.
Tip #7 – Acting classes are fun, but they can also help you to step out of your comfort zone and learn to “play the role” of a more assertive woman. Over time, it won’t be an act any longer!
Tip #8 – Practice role playing with a trusted friend or coach so that you can work on your assertive communication skills in a safe and supportive environment.
Tip #9 – Once you start following these relationship tips and being more assertive, be prepared for a reaction, either positive or negative. Most men appreciate a woman that is strong and capable of communicating their emotions and thoughts. In fact, he may have been just as frustrated about your lack of assertiveness as you were. But remember, if he resists this new change, hold your ground!
Tip #10 – Finally, remember not to go overboard. There is a huge difference between being assertive and being aggressive. Stay calm and say what you want to say without resorting to the same negative or hurtful tones and language he may have used on you.