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Some Great Tips For Becoming Assertive in your Life

15 May 2015


Assertiveness is a skill regularly referred to in social and communication skills training. 

Often wrongly confused with aggression, assertive individuals aim to be neither passive nor aggressive in their interactions with other people. 

Although everyone acts in passive and aggressive ways from time to time, such ways of responding often result from a lack of self-confidence and, therefore, are inappropriate expressions of what such people really need to say.

What is Assertiveness?

  • It is Ability to express feelings,wishes,wants and desires appropriately
  • It is an important personal and interpersonal skill.
  • It enables an individual to act in their own best interests,
  • It makes people to stand up for themselves without undue anxiety,
  • It allows oneself to express personal rights without denying the rights of others.
  • It is encouraging others to be open and honest about their views, wishes and feelings, so that both parties act appropriately.
  • It allows individuals to assert their personal rights without undermining the rights of others.
  • It is considered a balanced response, being neither passive nor aggressive, with self-confidence playing an important part.

In all your interactions with other people, whether at home or at work, with employers, customers or colleagues, assertiveness can help you to express yourself in a clear, open and reasonable way, without undermining the rights of yourself or others.

Features of Assertiveness

1. Verbal features of assertive communication: There are some verbal cues that indicate assertive communication, These cues include:

  • Firm, relaxed voice while communicating
  • Fluent and sincere tone
  • Appropriate volume for situation required while communication
  • Cooperative and constructive


  2. Non-verbal features of assertive communication. Just like verbal cues, non-verbal communication conveys assertive behavior. Non-verbal features might include

  • Receptive listening
  • Direct eye contact


Assertiveness helps to build on that self-confidence and provides many other benefits for improving your relationships at work and in other areas of your life as well.

Some people are naturally more assertive than others. You need to work on the following skills to become your assertive best!

Always Value yourself

  • Keep the Belief that you deserve to be treated with respect and dignity at all times.
  • Stop apologizing for everything and feeling guilty
  • Understand that your rights, thoughts, feelings, needs and desires are just as important as everyone else's.
  • Always recognize your rights and protect them.


Learn to identify your needs and wants, and ask for them when you want to be satisfied

  • Your needs will be met only when you Understand them 
  • Don't wait for someone to recognize what you need. In the process you might wait forever

People are responsible for their own behaviour

  • Don't make the mistake of accepting responsibility for how people react to your assertive statements. You can only control yourself.
  • As long as you are not violating someone else's needs, then you have the right to say or do what is right for you.

It is always recommendable to express yourself in a healthy and positive manner

  • It is ok to get angry but never lose the respect and never shout.
  • Do say what's on your mind, but do it in a way that protects other person's feelings.
  • Have Control on your emotions.
  • Stand up for yourself and confront people who challenge you or your rights.

It is healthy to welcome criticism and compliments positively

  • It is ok to make mistakes and ask for help.
  • Accept feedback positively


Assertive Communication Techniques

There are a variety of ways to communicate assertively. These can easily be adapted to any situation you are facing.

Use the word I.

Avoid using the word ‘You’, as this stops you from allowing control of the listener.

For example, you can use these phrases "I want.", "I need." or "I feel." to convey basic assertions.

Have empathy while communicating

  • Do not swear or talk rudely. 
  • Be careful about the tone of your voice. Keep it moderated.

Then, express what you need

  • It is recommendable to then interact and express with plan of action

Change Your Verbs while framing sentences

  • Use the following words/or replace the below
  • 'won't' instead of can't'
  • 'want' instead of 'need'
  • 'choose to' instead of 'have to'
  • 'could' instead of 'should'

Be mindful of your voice. It may be either of the extremes if you are too soft, the other person will think you are trying to hide yourself and may ignore you. If you are too loud, the other person may become scared or vexed by your voice.


By being assertive we should always respect the thoughts, feelings and beliefs of other people.

When you act assertively you act fairly and with empathy. The power you use comes from your self-assurance and not from intimidation or bullying.

When you treat others with such fairness and respect, you get that same treatment in return. You are well liked and people see you as a leader and someone they want to work with.

Being submissive can lead to low self-esteem and also depression and resentment towards self and others.

If you are facing issues with asserting yourself at home and at work, then our psychologist at ePsyClinic will work with you to help you master this much needed skill for sound mental and emotional health.

Just Click the pink chat button and Type "counselling" to instantly connect with a psychologist and know more about process and charges.

Tags: #Assertiveness #Communication Skills