Written By: Counselling Psychologist
M.Sc. Psychology - Swansea University, UK.
Reviewed By: Counselling Psychologist
MA Psychology Pennsylvania State University, USA
Last Updated: 16-03-2023

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Many people are confused about what assertiveness is and how it is different from aggression. Assertiveness is all about rights and responsibilities, when you have a certain right but also have specific responsibilities to you. So what does it mean in practice?

Being assertive means being able to stand up for yourself or other human rights calmly and positively, without either being aggressive or passively accepting wrong. Assertive people can get their point across without offending others or disturbing themselves. Assertiveness means to be honest with regard to what you need, want, feel or believe in a way that respects other's opinions.

Here are some tips to help you learn to be more assertive;

  • Confidence is the key to assertiveness- You will never look confident if you're lying, and you're not sure what you're saying. Prepare your content well before any event /presentation/ important task and ensure that it is accurate and revised.

  • Always opt for honest communication- Remember to respect other people when you are sharing your feelings, wants, needs, beliefs or opinions.

  • Stay calm- Breathe normally, look the person in the eye, keep your face relaxed, and speak normally.

  • Choose your words wisely- speaking to the point is always better. If you don't know anything, do not speak about anything that you re unaware of.

  • Be patient -Being assertive is a skill that needs practice. Remember that you will sometimes do better at it than at other times, but you can always learn from your mistakes.

In many aspects of life, assertiveness is crucial to success. Your ability to make decisions, recognize your strengths and to be able to match your emotions in your daily life can make a huge difference between being successful or not and enjoying your life experience. Being assertive, gives you the focus, the drive and the determination to stick to the tasks that positively affect your life.

It is a communication skill that can reduce conflict, build self-confidence, and improve working relationships.


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