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Being assertive is a basic communication skill and a way to effectively express yourself and defend your point of view while respecting the rights and beliefs of others.

Being assertive can also help boost your self-esteem and earn the respect of others, and manage stress, especially if you tend to take on too many responsibilities because you find it hard to say no.

If you are not assertive, you can learn it.

Assertive communication is direct and respectful. Being assertive gives you the best chance of successfully getting your message across. If you communicate too passively or aggressively, your message can get lost because people are too busy reacting to your message.

Being assertive means being honest about your feelings, opinions, or even your rights. This does not mean being aggressive when someone else may feel threatened or disrespected. Being assertive also doesn’t mean being passive when you’re too scared to say what you think. Staying passive in situations that mean a lot to you can make you feel manipulated, used, or disrespected.

Cognitively, assertive people experience fewer anxious thoughts, even when under stress. They respond to positive and negative emotions without becoming aggressive or passive.


Remember that you cannot take responsibility for another person’s behavior or reaction, but you can learn to respect yourself enough to speak clearly about your own experience or point of view.

Being assertive is a choice and a skill and takes practice and courage. When you learn to be more assertive in more situations, you will likely feel more free and confident in many situations.

Assertive behavior includes:

  • Openness in expressing desires, thoughts, and feelings and encouraging others to do the same.
  • Listen to the opinions of others and respond appropriately, whether you agree with them or not.
  • Acceptance of responsibilities and the ability to delegate them to others.
  • Regularly express gratitude to others for what they have done or are doing.
  • Be able to admit mistakes and apologize.
  • Maintaining self-control. Behaving as an equal with others.