Assertiveness: standing up for your personal rights, and expressing thoughts, feelings and beliefs in direct, honest and appropriate ways.

Assertiveness lies between being passive and being aggressive. If you're passive, you're not standing up for your rights, you're continuously putting other's needs before your own. You're not able to say no. If you're aggressive, you're bullying and intimidating, you're ignoring needs and rights of others and you're shouting, yelling or screaming at others.

A couple of thoughts about growing your level of assertiveness:

  • We shouldn't confuse assertiveness with being harsh. An assertive person is direct and honest, but always in a respectful way.
  • Having the ability to negotiate well is an essential part of being assertive. You're able to clearly articulate your own needs, and you're able to recognise the needs of the other.
  • It is important to learn how to phrase things the right way: try to avoid words like “always” and “never” and try to speak with facts.
  • Assertiveness is a skill: we can absolutely get better at parts of the things that make you more assertive. Inspect and start experiments to develop yourself.