Assertiveness Blog confidence Effective communication personal development

How To Use Assertive Techniques To Boost Assertive Behaviour

What is assertive behaviour?

Assertive behaviour is with the ability to categorical your feelings, opinions, beliefs, and standing up on your own or other individuals’s rights whereas remaining clam and constructive. It is a type of communication that includes with the ability to say what you need, want and really feel, without hurting the emotions of other individuals.

Assertiveness includes expressing your wants truthfully, immediately and in an applicable method. Placing your level throughout without turning into aggressive, with out denying the rights of others or passively accepting what you don’t need. It includes understanding the other individual’s perspective and behaving logically.

Assertive behaviour is outlined as a

“Behaviour which enables a person to act in his own best interests, to stand up for himself without undue anxiety, to express his honest feeling comfortably, or to exercise his own rights without denying the rights of others.” – (Calberti and Emmons 1974)

Assertive behaviour is usually confused with aggressiveness behaviour. It is very important notice that assertive behaviour doesn’t involve physically or emotionally hurting one other individual.

While each state of affairs might not result in each events getting what they need, adopting an assertive strategy lets you search the absolute best end result for both parties and helps keep a constructive relationship. It includes looking for to equalize the stability of energy and negotiating an agreeable compromise.

Assertiveness is a key communication and behavioural talent and the good information is that it can be discovered. Assertive behaviour could be very much concerned with not solely what you say, but how you say it. Turning into more assertive will enormously enhance your self-confidence, make speaking with others a lot simpler, scale back social nervousness and allow you to realize constructive reactions from other individuals. Creating assertiveness is certainly a worthwhile investment.

Low vanity, melancholy, feeling unappreciated or social nervousness, are sometimes related to people who discover it troublesome to precise their choice’s assertively. If that is you, it might as a result of prior to now (as a toddler and so on.) you have been punished, by academics or mother and father for expressing your opinions, particularly when your opinions differ from others.

Traits of assertive behaviour:

  • Sincerity
  • Sustaining an erect posture or standing tall
  • Maintain their emotions underneath management
  • Listening to other individuals’s views and opinions with curiosity
  • Maintaining direct eye contact but not staring
  • “I want” or “I don’t want”
  • Truthfully expressing concepts and feelings
  • Accepting duty and cope with problems fairly than avoiding them
  • Talking clearly, calmly and audibly
  • With the ability to apologise and ask questions to seek out out the other individual’s wants
  • Utilizing facial expression and gestures so as to add emphasis to your phrases
  • With the ability to behave in manner that is equal to others
  • Statements are clear, temporary and to the purpose
  • With the ability to delegate to others
  • An open physique stance and utilizing facial expressions to strengthen phrases
  • “My experience is different” or “I would like to” or “Would you like to”
  • “I feel irritated when you interrupt me”
  • Using eye contact
  • Expressing appreciation for what others have executed
  • “How does this fit with your ideas?”
  • Admitting mistakes

Assertiveness angle:

People who are assertive gained’t let others benefit from them, however at similar time won’t assault or put others down for being who they’re. You are feeling respected and other people view you as an adult, capable of making selections and being trustworthy. You could not all the time get what you need, but you don’t lose your self-respect. You consider that everybody has their own opinion and has the fitting to precise it.

If you develop into extra assertive you modify and reshape beliefs that you simply established as a toddler. Decrease levels of angers and resentment build up, while your degree of acceptance for different peoples needs, opinions and needs are heard extra simply. You develop a larger understanding and love for other individuals.

What’s passive behaviour?

Passive behaviour, or submissive behaviour, is where you don’t categorical your wants, opinions, to avoid upsetting different individuals. Submissive behaviour sometimes includes allowing other individuals to get their means so that you keep away from upsetting them or so you possibly can achieve their approval.

When you’re being submissive or passive, you permit others to violate your rights. You categorical your thoughts in a self-effacing method, enabling others to easily disregard them. For example chances are you’ll really need help with one thing but you don’t ask for a favour or someone might ask you to do a favour but you’re actually busy. As an alternative of saying “No, I can’t do it today as I have lots of other things to do”, you reply “Yes, I will do that after I have done all my other tasks and jobs.” Being non-assertive is whenever you don’t let others know what you need or need, or if you let other individuals determine what is greatest for you.

Passive behaviour traits:

  • Apologizing inappropriately for their behaviour or attitudes
  • No eye contact and hesitant or keep very little eye contact with the opposite individual
  • Not saying something when different individuals’s behaviour upsets them
  • Utilizing words like “maybe”, “sort of”,
  • Phrases like “I might be wrong”, “I’m terribly sorry to bother you”, “It’s not important”, “I’m hopeless”, and so on.
  • Tense posture
  • Twiddling with cuffs, pens, hair and so on.
  • Use “perhaps” or “possibly” lots
  • Wanting down at the flooring or at ft
  • Nervous physique actions
  • Masking mouth with hand
  • Submissive individuals won’t submit their very own concepts or feelings and will typically give in to other individuals
  • Mumbling
  • Low voice
  • Crossing arms for cover
  • Jaw trembling

Passive angle:

  • “I don’t matter”
  • “I don’t count”
  • You are feeling little or helpless
  • “I will be responsible for upsetting them”
  • “People will not like me”
  • “My feelings are less important than yours”

When you’re passive you a vulnerable to a decrease degree of vanity and to a build-up of anger and stress. Repressing your frustration may also decrease your constructive emotions. People who find themselves passive are likely to present themselves in a less constructive mild and put themselves down, which finally leads them to feeling inferior to different individuals. Individuals typically see you as unable to make selections, you don’t get what you want and you are feeling like you could have been used.

What is aggressive behaviour?

Aggressive behaviour, or dominant behaviour, includes a extra threatening, demanding, or punishing expression of your opinion, with little respect for the other individual’s rights or feelings. You goal to realize your private objectives no matter the way it might have an effect on other individuals. Aggressive behaviour includes standing up in your rights in a method that is inappropriate and sometimes includes obtaining superiority by putting others down.

Characteristics of aggressive behaviour:

  • Condescending and should try and belittle others
  • Ignore the rights of others to talk their thoughts
  • Cold and harsh
  • Pushy
  • Indignant
  • Patronising
  • Dashing individuals
  • Fist clenching
  • Not listening
  • Palms on hips
  • Pointing of finger or thumping table to strengthen what they are saying
  • Pounding fist
  • Standing too near individuals and invading their private area
  • Shouting or converse loud and strident
  • Jaws set agency
  • Using phrases corresponding to “You better watch out”, “Don’t be so stupid”, “You must”, “That is ridiculous”
  • Use of words reminiscent of “”all the time”, “never”
  • Boastfulness
  • Striding round impatiently
  • Crossing arms
  • Telling quite than asking
  • Threatening questions similar to “have you not finished that yet?”
  • Sneering
  • Ignoring others
  • Leaning over somebody when talking

Attitudes associated with aggressive behaviour:

  • “The world is a battle ground and I’m out to win”
  • “I’m out for number one”
  • “Attack is the best form of defence”

Oftentimes, aggressive behaviour could be associated with deeper emotions of inferiority. These feelings can contribute to an individual feeling the need to put others down to be able to compensate. As well as, aggressiveness creates enemies and resentment amongst those around you. You could get what you need, but you find yourself dropping more in the long term. After displaying aggressive behaviour, you typically feel alone, indignant and that folks avoid or dislike you. You lose buddies and self-respect.

It’s straightforward for a person who engages in aggressive behaviour to dominate a submissive or passive individual. The submissive individual could be very more likely to let the aggressive individual have their approach. It will lead to the aggressive individual feeling the satisfaction of getting what they need, but the submissive individual is more likely to really feel dissatisfied with their very own behaviour and sad. They’re additionally more likely to really feel resentful in the direction of the opposite individual.

How To Use Assertive Techniques To Boost Assertive Behaviour

What are your assertive rights?

  1. You will have the appropriate to guage your personal behaviors, thoughts and emotions, and to take duty for their initiation and consequences upon yourself.
  2. You have got the correct to supply no causes or excuses for justifying your conduct.
  3. You have got the fitting to guage in case you are chargeable for discovering solutions to different individuals’s issues.
  4. You’ve the correct to vary your mind.
  5. You’ve gotten the fitting to make mistakes and be liable for them.
  6. You might have the best to say “I don’t know.”
  7. You might have the proper to be unbiased of the goodwill of others earlier than coping with them.
  8. You’ve the fitting to be illogical in making selections.
  9. You will have the fitting to say “I don’t understand.”
  10. You’ve gotten the best to say “I don’t care.”
  11. You’ve gotten the fitting to say “no.”
  12. You’ve got the proper to do less then you’re humanly able to doing.
  13. You have got the proper to take the time you could respond.
  14. You’ve gotten the fitting to disagree with others no matter their place or numbers.
  15. You could have the appropriate to really feel all your feelings (together with anger) and categorical them appropriately.
  16. You will have the best to ask questions.
  17. You’ve the best to be treated with respect.
  18. You have got the suitable to ask for what you want.
  19. You’ve got the proper to be ok with yourself, your actions and your life.

20. You will have the correct to train any and all the these rights, with out feeling guilty.

Source: Psychological Health America

What prevents individuals from being assertive?

Most non-assertive individuals have a belief that they don’t have the appropriate to be assertive, or are fearful about what is going to happen if they’re assertive. Other individuals feel that they lack social expertise, or simply have no idea tips on how to effectively assert themselves.

One of many largest causes an individual is just not assertive comes right down to their vanity and self-confidence. When these are low an individual Individuals will typically cope with others in a passive method. This in turn leads to others treating them this manner.

Stress and previous experiences also can cause individuals to be passive. Stress can make individuals feel like they have little management over their life and consequently, they behave passively or aggressively. Nervousness may also lead to a person behaving passively. Experiences that folks have encountered prior to now will additional contribute to the way you communicate with others. If your loved ones dealt with conflict by yelling and arguing, then you might have discovered to cope with battle in the same means, or in the event that they taught you to put the wants of others earlier than yourself as a toddler, it might be troublesome so that you can assert your self.

The type of relationship you have got with the opposite individual will additional influence the way you behave. For instance you could discover it easier to be extra assertive together with your associate than your boss or work colleagues.

How do you turn into extra assertive?

Assertiveness shouldn’t be all the time straightforward, but it’s undoubtedly the simplest strategy to communicating with others. With apply, assertive behaviour is a talent that may be discovered and mastered. Nevertheless, it should require you to be trustworthy with your self and analyze your personal issues. Identifying your basic behaviour when communicating will make it easier to to determine whether or not you’re being respectful of different individuals’s rights, or whether you could need to say your personal rights extra.

Admitting that you simply may be passive or too aggressive is a needed first step in turning into more assertive. Be committed to creating the modifications required to your behaviour and angle. That is more likely to contain altering your beliefs. For those who consider that you’re not ok, or that you simply shouldn’t have the appropriate to share your opinion and so on., you need to make a dedication to altering this belief. This can be a elementary component of being assertive. You will need to consider in your rights and know that it’s okay to pursue them. Likewise, different individuals have these rights too and you need to respect them in the same method they need to respect yours.

Some individuals discover it useful to put in writing down statements akin to “I will stand up for myself in a respectful manner” and “I will express myself directly and openly” on a bit of paper and place them someplace they will take a look at each day. This helps implement your dedication to turning into more assertive and keeps your mind targeted on the kind of behaviour you need to obtain. Figuring out and analysing your personal emotional processes can further make it easier to to vary the best way you talk with others. By doing this, you’ll study to effectively handle and categorical your feelings extra assertively.

Turning into extra assertive will take follow. Subsequently a good suggestion is to rehearse or apply out loud assertive gestures or phrases, so that you simply turn into familiar and cozy with using assertive language. If this sounds too scary, start saying them in your head. As you turn into extra confident, progress to rehearsing out loud in entrance of your mirror.

Once you really feel snug, try to determine small situations the place you possibly can apply your assertive behaviour and determine how properly you did. Start small and determine easy areas where you possibly can apply being assertive and progress further as you turn out to be extra confident.

For example when assembly new individuals take the chance to apply your new assertive expertise. Crucial facet of assembly a person for the primary time is to determine the fitting environment. You need to begin by introducing yourself and providing a firm handshake. It’s a good idea to determine eye contact and smile whereas asking an open query to start out the conversation. This may be about their journey or the weather for instance.

There are lots of little ideas and tips you possibly can implement to build in your assertiveness. For example, order your personal dinner from yourself each night. State exactly what it’s that you want. It sounds foolish, but listening to yourself clearly stating what you need is a superb first step to tackle this path of confidence.

In case you’re ready to deliver the follow outdoors of your self, attempt giving a coworker praise on one thing they did properly. Be concise and trustworthy. This not solely boosts your personal confidence but that of your co-workers as nicely.

When being assertive:

  • State what you want
  • Ask for what you want
  • Be trustworthy
  • Say what you’re considering or the way you’re feeling
  • Say no when you don’t want to, or can’t, do something

Assertive Techniques:

Saying “no”

Many people wrestle to say “no” once they know they need to. This is usually because individuals worry the response they could obtain by refusing someone. You could really feel that by saying “no” you will lose their respect , friendship, or that it might end in a unfavourable response.

It’s essential to recollect for those who don’t need to do something, or shouldn’t have the time to do something, it is best to say “no”. This is your right. There shall be many occasions when you will have to refuse a request. Everyone has the correct to say no when requested by another individual to do one thing. Identical to that individual has the appropriate to ask you.

Learning to say “no” will assist scale back stress, anger, resentfulness and keep away from conflicts in the long term. When saying “no” it is very important be clear, polite, trustworthy and reveal an understanding of the other individual’s place without permitting the other individual to make you emotional. Sometime you could must be president together with your refusal.

Taking duty

Taking duty includes analysing the way you respond to a state of affairs. You’ll be able to’t control the behaviours of others, however what you’ll be able to management is how you choose to answer their actions.

Take possession of your feelings. Blaming others for a way you are feeling could also be seen as an assault, resulting within the different individual turning into defensive. When this occurs communication turns into ineffective because the channels for communication have broken down.

Use applicable body language

Your body language will play an necessary position in assertive communication. It is potential to assume that you’re being assertive when you’re using assertive language, however your body language or nonverbal communication must match your language.

It is attainable to assume you’re appearing assertively if you end up truly being passive or aggressive, because of your non-verbal communication type.

Clearly expressing opinions and using simple sentences

Once you’re putting across your viewpoint or opinion, it is necessary that you simply clearly state that it’s your opinion. By expressing your emotions or level as opinion, it should help others feel that their ideas or views additionally matter and encourage them to share. This leads to effective communication.

To keep away from being misunderstood and scale back conflict, it is very important use easy and clear sentences. It will assist others understand what you’re asking and avoid any frustration.

For example, don’t use hints and anticipate individuals to know what you’re talking about. This repeatedly results in arguments as the other individual will get annoyed making an attempt to figure out what it is that you want. We’ve all seen examples of this in relationships and it’s essential to be sure to’re being clear when speaking with everybody in your life.


Indignant individuals can typically be quite troublesome to cope with. When these individuals are your supervisor or a customer, the state of affairs may be troublesome to avoid. In these conditions it is very important remain calm and keep away from taking their anger personally.

If you end up in a state of affairs where the opposite individual behaves aggressively, you should use the fogging method. This includes identifying some degree of agreement, even when small, with the other individual’s argument. By doing this you’ll be able to diffuse the state of affairs and stay in control.

Asking for more time

In case you don’t actually know what you want, or perhaps you are feeling that you simply could be too emotional to decide proper there after which, you possibly can ask for extra time. It will possibly typically be easier to postpone saying something until you’ve gotten had time to assume it by means of. To do this simply be trustworthy by telling the opposite individual that you simply need sometime to collect your ideas and that you’ll get back to them shortly.

“Bob, your question has caught me off guard. I’ll get again to you within an hour.“

Damaged report

This system is usually used when it’s a must to cope with somebody who is being persistent. It includes you repeating the same message repeatedly. For instance, during a conversation, you might have to maintain restating your message using the same language again and again. This is carried out till the other individual is obvious that you’re not going to vary your thoughts.

Oftentimes individuals attempt to break down your resistance, but with a clear and constant message they are going to be unable and can ultimately accept that you simply imply what you’re saying. It’s a good idea to have the message you need to convey ready ahead of time and stay calm, well mannered and never grow to be emotional. Additionally it is necessary to show an appreciation of the other individual’s difficulties.

If you find yourself turning into upset at any level take a number of deep breaths as it will provoke your body’s calming process and assist you keep in management throughout the conversation.


Supervisor: “I need you to work on the Simmons project.”

You: “I can see your urgency, but I cannot take on any more projects right now.”

Manager: “I’ll pay you extra for working on it.”

You: “I cannot take on any more projects right now.”

Supervisor: “This is really important and my boss insists this gets top priority.”

You: “I cannot take on any more projects right now, I am at full capacity.”

Supervisor: “Please, as a personal favour to me.”

You: “I value our professional relationship and would if it were possible, but I cannot take on any more projects right now.”

Adverse assertion

Adverse assertion includes taking a look at your personal behaviour and figuring out negatives. When doing this you need to accept these errors with the mindset of working on them. It will be significant not to turn out to be anxious or defensive, but as an alternative recognise your faults with out apologizing.

An instance of this might be:

Good friend: “You’re not very good at listening to what I have to say.”

You: “You’re right. I don’t pay attention as intently as I should to what you’re saying.

One of the best strategy to coping with criticism is to pay attention rigorously to what the opposite individual is saying and reveal an understanding for the purpose they are making. If there’s fact in what they’re saying agree with it, or the logic of it from their viewpoint. You must settle for your errors and not make excuses for them. As an alternative sympathetically agree with hostile criticism.

Anticipate different individuals’s behaviour

By anticipating other individuals’s behaviour you’ll be able to put together your responses prematurely and apply your responses for different situations. This can enormously enhance your self-confidence, enabling you to stay assertive.

“I” Statements

“I” statements allow audio system to be assertive without making accusations. You’re saying how it’s for you or the way you see things moderately than how it ought to or shouldn’t be which helps forestall the listener from turning into defensive. “I” statements convey that you are prepared to take duty on your own ideas and behaviours.

The aim of utilizing the “I” assertion is to enhance the relationship and when used properly they will result in efficient constructive communication.


  • “I understand that”
  • “I think that I”
  • “When I think I’m not being heard I”
  • “I enjoyed your presentation.”
  • “I get really anxious when”
  • “I would like”
  • “I know you are busy, but I need your assistance.”
  • “When you raise your voice, I feel threatened.”
  • “When you arrive late, I have to wait, and I feel frustrated.”
  • “If you are late again, I will be left with no choice but to pursue disciplinary action. I would prefer to avoid that.”

Keep away from judgement and making assumptions

Being assertive includes avoiding making judgements and assumptions. Assumptions can result in a world of inaccuracy and judgements can result in frustration and defensiveness from the other individual. To ensure assertive communication use very descriptive language.


You: “You could have made more effort to make it on time!”

Pal: “My babysitter didn’t show up, so I had to make other last minute arrangements.”

This leads to you feeling guilty. Keep in mind, you by no means know what may need occurred so give the opposite individual the prospect to elucidate it.

Avoid over-generalising

In case you converse in generalizations the individual you’r are chatting with goes to give attention to the negatives. For example, for those who tell somebody that they’re all the time late, the probabilities are they’re not, however they’re going to concentrate on the ‘always’ moderately than listening to your message.

Keep away from making use of labels

When you label someone, they’re going to be too targeted on that label moderately than the actual situation. So if someone is late to work quite a bit and also you state:

“You are very disorganized, if you sorted that out you’d be on time more often.”

The individual you’ve stated this to isn’t going to listen to the message about them being late, they’re going to concentrate on being referred to as disorganized.


Listening is a vital component of being assertive. Listening to what the other individual has to say, asking suitable questions resembling “what”, “when” “how” and displaying applicable physique language is important to efficient interpersonal communication. Asking questions allow you to develop a greater image of the state of affairs.

This can allow you to reveal an understanding from the opposite individual’s position and establishes constructive relationship.


Scripting is an assertive method used to view an issue as if it have been a scene from a play.

The four-pronged DESC strategy:

The DESC script was developed by Sharon and Gordon Bower and is mentioned more absolutely in their e-book, Asserting Your self. DESC stands for Describe, Categorical, Specify, and Penalties.

  1. Rationalization – Explain the state of affairs as you see it.
  2. Emotions – Acknowledge your personal feelings & empathize with the other individuals’s
  3. Needs – Outline what you want. Be real looking, be truthful, and be prepared to compromise
  4. Consequences – What is going to occur consequently?


EXPLANATION: Inform the opposite individual how you see the state of affairs.

“Mary, production has overspent by 30% this month and you didn’t give me any indication that this was happening. I didn’t account for, or prepare for this massive overspend.”

FEELINGS: Describe how you are feeling about categorical your feelings clearly.

“This makes me feel frustrated as I feel that you don’t understand how important it is to have financial controls in place or the severity of going too far over budget.”

NEEDS: Tell the opposite individual what you want in order that they don’t need to guess.

“I want you to be absolutely trustworthy with me and to let me know when manufacturing is going over price range. In this method we will make contingency plans and be prepared

CONSEQUENCES: Describe the constructive consequence if your needs are fulfilled.

“I am always here to help and will in whatever way I can, if we overspend I’ll account for it but I have to know. If we work together with trust and honesty, we will be able to turn this around and make sure that we’re working as efficiently as possible.”

This is an example of scripting in action and could be notably helpful when you’re worrying a few sure state of affairs. Through the use of the DESC scripting technique, you possibly can prepare yourself prematurely for a number of situations. This makes you are feeling far more in control and permits you to tackle the difficulty at hand.

Some great benefits of assertive communication

There are various advantages of assertive communication, which embrace:

  • It helps you to feel good about yourself
  • It helps you to be ok with others
  • It helps to spice up your self-confidence
  • It leads to the mutual respect of others
  • It lets you deal with any state of affairs with efficiency
  • It boosts our vanity
  • Assertiveness offers others with a constructive impression
  • It lets you achieve your objectives
  • It minimizes the danger hurting and alienating other individuals
  • It reduces nervousness and stress
  • Assertiveness lets you say the best factor within the right method
  • It protects us from being taken advantage of by others
  • It allows us to make higher selections and freer decisions in life
  • Robust and effective communication
  • Quicker and better decision-making expertise
  • Allows battle resolution
  • Elevated self-respect
  • You are feeling more in-control of selections and situations

Disadvantages of assertive communication

Some individuals won’t like any such communication as they gained’t be used to it. Others won’t like that you simply assert yourself once they choose to be the dominant get together. Others nonetheless, won’t like the issues you convey to the fore or observations you make about them.

In case you are being truthful and respecting the other individual’s viewpoint, you won’t all the time get what you need. That is part of assertiveness, nevertheless, and keep in mind it is the aggressive character who insists on getting what they need all the time.

Typically, you will uncover that a long-term perception or viewpoint your held is actually fallacious. This may be seen as an obstacle but it’s also a robust constructive. The individuals who admit that they have been flawed and are snug with reassessing their very own beliefs, are the people who are being assertive within the right means.

From time to time, the onset of your new assertive conduct could also be perceived as aggression by others. Stick with it, they’re just not used to this model of you, or perhaps feeling aggrieved that they’re not capable of assert their dominance over you.

There’s no guarantee of success by approaching a state of affairs in an assertive manner, it does rely upon the individual or state of affairs you’re coping with. Nevertheless, implementing the methods on this article offers you the most effective probability of success and will also assist you to have the sensation that you simply tried every part you might to make a distinction.

For more help with mastering assertiveness, watch the following video by Speakfirst.

These articles are created to provide you a primary understanding of the subjects. Should you loved reading and really feel it can profit others, please be happy to share.

Sources and advisable reading: