Advertisement

What is assertive communication?

Assertive communication means that both your needs and the needs of the other person are equally important and respected. Assertive statements often begin with “I.” For example, “I find it helpful when you don’t keep chips in the house.” This statement is more effective than a blaming or aggressive statement (“You always try to undermine everything I do”) or reacting passively and being inwardly resentful.
Assertiveness means standing up for yourself and communicating your feelings without harming others or violating their rights. Being assertive, rather than passive or aggressive, is the best way to get along with other people.

In communicating, some people are passive and some are aggressive, but the ones who are usually liked best are assertive. Let's say you hear that a group of your friends are going to the movies on Friday night. You haven't been invited but would like to go. These three reactions can help you see the difference in communication styles:

Passive: "I'm not doing anything Friday night. Anything going on?"
Aggressive: "I'll be there. What time and where?"
Assertive: "I'd really like to join you. Is that okay?"

Being assertive means:
  • speaking up for your rights while still respecting the rights of others
  • calmly and clearly expressing how you feel
  • being confident
  • not letting others impose their feelings and beliefs on you
  • being able to say no
The Anger Workbook for Teens: Activities to Help You Deal with Anger and Frustration (Instant Help)

More About this Book

The Anger Workbook for Teens: Activities to Help You Deal with Anger and Frustration (Instant Help)

Do you often find yourself in trouble because of anger? Do you react to situations and later regret how you behaved? Does your anger cause problems with other people? Are you tired of letting anger...

Continue Learning about Personality

All About You: Personality Trait or Disorder?
All About You: Personality Trait or Disorder?
Is your personality trait idiosyncratic and somewhat endearing? Or is it so destructive that it changes the way you and others around you live? With ...
Read More
What can I do if someone starts yawning during a conversation?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
If you want to keep someone interested in what you're saying, make a move, says Dr. Oz Show gues...
More Answers
Is suffering individual or mutual?
Deepak ChopraDeepak Chopra
Everyone suffers. In times of war or calamity or natural disasters, everyone suffers together. Yet n...
More Answers
Why Does Death Scare Us?
Why Does Death Scare Us?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.