ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Assertiveness - Developing Assertiveness Skills

Updated on May 7, 2012

What is assertiveness or assertiveness skills?

Assertiveness is an expression of an individual’s clarity of thought and self-confidence, self-esteem or self-worth. Assertiveness skills enable the communication of one’s likes and dislikes or makes a person’s stand in a particular issue clear. Assertiveness skills are a basic need for any individual to ensure that his/her rights are not impinged upon, since they enable the person to state in unequivocal terms how he/she feels. An assertive person communicates in a very positive manner. This is very different from aggression. Aggressive communication, which often involves overriding the wishes of others, is demanding in nature and does not take into consideration the views, wishes or rights of one’s surroundings.

How to be more assertive?

Assertiveness skills can take us a long way in our relationships with the people around us, especially those with whom we work or have to deal to with on a daily basis. People who need assertiveness training are those who take up all the work on themselves whether it is theirs or not. They are generally treated like doormats and their rights are often ignored by others. They are left feeling that they are never respected or regarded as worthwhile by others.

  Assertiveness skills

You could browse for other material through this link

Assertiveness techniques

Communications skills

Make your messages clear Your verbal communication should be very clear and should always reveal how you feel about certain things. There should be no ambiguity in the way you express yourself, but at the same time, it is important that you do not sound aggressive or like a bully when you communicate with others. You need to communicate your wishes without making the other person feel that they are responsible for your condition. For example, if someone says something that hurts you then you say in unequivocal terms “I am hurt by what you just said”. Instead, if you choose to say, “You are rude” or “You are bad”, it is highly judgemental and a very broad statement which put the other person on the defensive.

Back up your communication with appropriate body language.

It is very important to look the part. When you say No, you need to look confident, decisive and clear about what you are saying that the person gets the message clearly. Not only are you communicating verbally, but you are also reinforcing your verbal communication with your body language. Looking the person in the eye, holding yourself up straight could convey your message more forcefully. Your body language will reinforce your assertiveness to the person you are communicating with.

Assert your opinion. Sometimes, you do not have to justify or give reasons for why you think so. You may very clearly say, “I think so” or “I feel so” without having to add you reasons. You do not have to be intimated by others.

Become more assertive

Make your own choices. Think clearly, be decisive, make your own choices and don’t let others decide things for you. You can start with small things like ordering from a menu in a restaurant without allowing someone to choose what you eat. This way you will learn to employ assertiveness skills in your daily interactions.

Be positive about yourself. It is perfectly alright to say positive things about yourself. Some people fear that doing so might make them seem very pompous or like trumpeting their own achievements. When you can say positive things about others, there is no reason why you cannot say positive things about yourself. In fact, it is very important to do this, because it shows your level of self confidence.

Be graceful while you accept compliments. A person who is unable to accept compliments is lacking in self-esteem. A compliment is a positive feeling conveyed by another to you. When you squirm and mutter or say something that negates what the person said, you are telling yourself that you are worthless and that people should not be appreciating you. Your behavior may make the person who is paying you the compliment wonder if they have done something wrong.

Communicate assertively

Agree to disagree. You can always give in to someone and tell them, “I respect your opinion, but I am not on the same page as you.” This clearly indicates to the other person that it is the end of discussion and you are clear about your own standing.

It is okay to say ‘No’ You need to know when to say ‘No’ and how to say it. The best time to say No is right away, and it is important to say ‘No’ when you know that it is not your responsibility or within your scope to do certain things or when you are not inclined to do so. You can say in a very simple but clear and polite way, “I am sorry, but I am otherwise occupied.” However, making statements like, “You are making me do your work” can start up an unwanted confrontation.

You can be polite and yet firm.

Very often, people believe that they have to raise their voice or take an aggressive stance to get a point across. The most assertive people have no use for such things. You can plainly communicate in your normal tone of voice, firmly and clearly, leaving no room for further discussion.

It is okay to say “I don’t know.”

You don’t need to know everything, nor are you expected to know every detail. So, when you do not know something, you can say, “I do not know, but I will surely find out.” This will never decrease the respect people have for you, but will in fact increase it because you are willing to accept what you do not know. This will show you to be a realistic person who is willing to learn.

Assertiveness techniques for work life

Getting people to do assigned jobs When you assign someone a task, after leaving clear instructions and telling them what you expect them to do, you could end with, “I’d appreciate if you finish it as soon as possible.” This would clearly reinforce your message.

Give in. This doesn’t sound like the world’s best advice; but at times, you need to give in. Especially if you are handling a customer, you just give in and let them have their say. Make them feel good about themselves; and then, when they are through, you just tell them what is acceptable, what the rules and regulations are like, what can be done and what cannot be done. This not only comes across as being polite, patient and courteous, but is also efficient in handling people.

Assertiveness way to self confidence

Being assertive is a quality of a person who is self-confident and has great self-worth or self- esteem. It clearly indicates to others that you know what you are talking about and that you know your place, position or standing in the event. It also demonstrates that you have your opinions and judgment and you value them highly. When you project a picture of yourself in this light, no one treats you with disrespect or takes you for granted. It is only when you lack clarity and direction that people make decisions for you and walk all over you.

Being assertive takes a lot of stress off your back. It helps you take on only what you can manage. Assertiveness leaves you with more time on your hands to do other things. Your assertiveness helps gather others around you, as you learn to delegate better and communicate effectively.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)