Assertive Communication - The Effective Approach

Assertive Communication is a style in which individuals clearly state their opinions and feelings, and firmly advocate for their rights and needs without violating the rights of others. Assertive communication is born of high self-esteem. These individuals value themselves, their time, and their emotional, spiritual, and physical needs and are strong advocates for themselves while being very respectful of the rights of others.

Assertive communicators will:

· state needs and wants clearly, appropriately, and respectfully

· express feelings clearly, appropriately, and respectfully

· use “I” statements

· communicate respect for others

· listen well without interrupting

· feel in control of self

· have good eye contact

· speak in a calm and clear tone of voice

· have a relaxed body posture

· feel connected to others

· feel competent and in control

· not allow others to abuse or manipulate them

· stand up for their rights

The impact of a pattern of assertive communication is that these individuals:

· feel connected to others

· feel in control of their lives

· are able to mature because they address issues and problems as they arise

· create a respectful environment for others to grow and mature

The assertive communicator will say, believe, or behave in a way that says:

· “We are equally entitled to express ourselves respectfully to one another.”

· “I am confident about who I am.”

· “I realize I have choices in my life and I consider my options.”

· “I speak clearly, honestly, and to the point.”

· “I can’t control others but I can control myself.”

· “I place a high priority on having my rights respected.”

· “I am responsible for getting my needs met in a respectful manner.”

· “I respect the rights of others.”

· “Nobody owes me anything unless they’ve agreed to give it to me.”

· “I’m 100% responsible for my own happiness.”

Assertiveness allows us to take care of ourselves, and is fundamental for good mental health and healthy relationships.

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