Assert Yourself

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Effective Communication

Improving communication skills #4:  Assert yourself

Direct, assertive expression makes for clear communication and can help boost self-esteem and decision-making.  Being assertive means expressing your thoughts, feelings, and needs in an open and honest way, while standing up for yourself and respecting others.  It does NOT mean being hostile, aggressive, or demanding.  Effective communication is always about understanding the other person, not about winning an argument or forcing your opinions on others.

To improve assertiveness:

  • Value yourself and your opinions.  They are as important as anyone else’s.
  • Know your needs and wants.  Learn to express them without infringing on the rights of others.
  • Express negative thoughts in a positive way.  It’s OK to be angry, but you must be respectful as well.
  • Receive feedback positively.  Accept compliments graciously, learn from your mistakes, ask for help when needed.
  • Learn to say “no.”  Know your limits and don’t let others take advantage of you.  Look for alternatives so everyone feels good about the outcome.

Developing assertive communication techniques

  • Empathetic assertion conveys sensitivity to the other person. First, recognize the other person’s situation or feelings, then state your needs or opinion.  “I know you’ve been very busy at work, but I want you to make time for us as well.”
  • Escalating assertion can be used when your first attempts are not successful.  You become increasingly firm as time progresses, which may include outlining consequences if your needs are not met.  For example, “If you don’t abide by the contract, I’ll be forced to pursue legal action.”
  • Practice assertiveness in lower risk situations to start with to help build up your confidence.  Or ask friends or family if you can practice assertiveness techniques on them first.


3 thoughts on “Assert Yourself”

    1. Claire, apparently Robert failed to notice your comment, due to the time we have put in on the new blog.
      This was a very informative resource, and we want you to know how much your input means to NOT IN MY WORLD!!!!
      I will pass this on to Robert, and Thank You!

    2. You’re welcome Claire, and Thank You Aida.
      People are quick to point out other people’s short-comings. While this may sound judgemental, I don’t mind saying that from Our perspective(me and Frank) most of the people we have ever known fit this description, some of these seemed to delight in getting 2 little boys beat, while there were others that were very unfaithful to their mates.
      What I would say to you is guard yourself Claire, there are those who would disarm you with a guilt trip also.
      You have a caring personality Claire

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