How to Be More Assertive

Assertive doesn’t mean rude, brash, hateful, or any other negative word often associated with it. In fact, being assertive is a core communication skill that gives you confidence, helps with stress management, and gains you respect. With that said, being more assertive can be difficult at first, but we’re here to guide you through it.

Benefits of Being Assertive

There are many reasons why being assertive is beneficial, whether it pertains to work, school, or personal relationships.

  • Increases self-confidence and self-esteem.
  • Provides a sense of empowerment.
  • Allows you to understand and recognize your feelings.
  • Earns you respect from those around you.
  • Improves your communication skills.

How to Be More Assertive

Plan Responses Ahead of Time

People-pleasers often feel they need to say yes to everything, which can be incredibly overwhelming – especially when there are things they don’t want to do. The best way to combat this is with simple go-to phrases you always have up your sleeve, like “Let me get back to you” and “I have a schedule conflict.” You are not obligated to explain why you can’t attend a function. You are simply putting yourself, your time, and your feelings first.

Use “I” Statements

Being assertive means recognizing and respecting your own needs, so the last thing you want is for anyone to think you’re blaming others. Instead of saying, “You need to stop giving me work when it is your responsibility,” try, “I’m feeling a little overwhelmed right now and need to give my full attention to my workload.”

Perfect Your Body Language

A certain body stance can give you the confidence boost you need for an assertive conversation. Sit or stand tall, roll your shoulders back, make eye contact, and keep your facial expressions neutral.


It may feel a bit silly, but the best way to prepare for confrontational conversations is to practice them. You can rehearse in the mirror or practice what you’ll say to a trusted friend or family member.

Start Small

Don’t have your first-ever assertive conversation with the CEO of your company, but rather with a friend in a low-risk situation.

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