photo of three person sitting and talking

Tips for Communicating Assertively and Confidently

Assertiveness is a critical communication skill that enables individuals to assert themselves and express their needs and opinions, and protect themselves from being taken advantage of.

To be assertive, your body language must convey confidence and show respect for others. To accomplish this, ensure your chin remains raised while listening, while maintaining eye contact while listening.

1. Know Yourself

Assertiveness is an invaluable skill that will enable you to effectively express your needs and opinions, build healthy relationships, and reach your goals. However, assertiveness can be challenging to master – particularly for shy or low self-esteem individuals.

Assertiveness starts with knowing yourself. Take this self-evaluation worksheet as a first step to gain more insight into how you see yourself and which beliefs guide your decision-making – this data can inform how you communicate with others.

As part of your self-discovery journey, another way to learn more about yourself is by becoming familiar with your emotions and their triggers. This will enable you to better comprehend which situations trigger anxiety or nerves within yourself – and how best to respond when faced with them.

Once you’ve identified your personal triggers, explore various coping mechanisms to overcome them. For instance, using deep breathing or mindfulness meditation apps as ways to calm your mind before speaking up. Finding ways to express yourself confidently – for instance by prepping what you plan to say before speaking up – may also prove helpful.

Being assertive is an inherent human trait, yet can be challenging for some individuals to achieve. It’s important to keep in mind that assertiveness shouldn’t be confused with aggression – bullyrism or pushing someone around are two extreme forms of aggressive behavior; assertiveness allows you to express your emotions and uphold your rights without using bullying tactics or aggression as the means.

Assertiveness can also help lower stress by forcing you to address issues when they arise rather than leaving them lingering and creating anxiety. To become more assertive, look for role models who excel at being assertive — neither passive nor aggressive — and model some of their best qualities in order to become more assertive yourself.

2. Know What You Want

Communicating assertively can be the key to getting what you need while also relieving stress levels. Once you know exactly what your needs are, even with slot games on, it becomes much simpler to say no to any activities that don’t support those goals and prioritize those that do align. You will also become better equipped at dealing with conflict and disagreements using assertive communication skills; using them also protects you from being taken advantage of by people who disregard your boundaries.

Effective assertive communication involves knowing what you want and being able to express it calmly and confidently. Aggressive or bossy forms of communication rarely result in meeting one’s needs; passive or submissive forms are equally ineffective at conveying those needs to others. A balance should be struck between these two styles by being direct but still permitting discussion between differing viewpoints. Assertive communication allows just that – which helps ensure its effectiveness!

Vocal tone is also essential to communicating assertively. Speak in an authoritative yet relaxed tone that can easily be heard by whomever you’re speaking to; avoid speaking mumble-speak that can give off signals of nerves or lack of control by speaking clearly to convey that you are confident and in charge.

To enhance your verbal assertiveness, our Talk Assertively worksheet offers effective techniques that promote clear and confident communication. Furthermore, you can review past conversations to assess how words used reflected your attitude and confidence levels.

3. Listen to the Other Person

When someone disagrees with you, it’s essential that you listen and acknowledge their point of view. By showing that you respect their opinion and value them as individuals, listening carefully and acknowledging each person will ensure a more peaceful conversation so you can quickly come to an agreement on a solution.

Avoid interrupting and arguing with others as much as possible, instead try understanding their perspective and how they came to that decision. Doing this will allow you to better express your own beliefs while showing you are a thoughtful communicator.

Communicating assertively requires confidence without becoming aggressive; it’s an approach which seeks a middle ground between passiveness and aggressiveness which may cause harm and strain relationships1.1

Assertive communication also necessitates paying close attention to your body language and nonverbal cues, to ensure they match up with what you say. This includes your tone of voice, eye contact and any gestures which show confidence or self-assuredness.

Be proactive by practicing role-playing with friends or even a counselor/coach before entering challenging conversations. Role playing can give you a feel for what it’s like to speak assertively and build skills necessary for more confident interactions.

Assertive communication requires keeping emotions under control; while being angry is permissible, shouting and cursing are not assertive behaviors. Conversely, hiding how you feel out of fear of offending others is passive-aggressive and does not serve your long-term interests. Journaling may help identify and understand your emotions more accurately.

4. Be Direct

Assertive communication is one of the best ways to express feelings and needs in an assertive manner, without harming relationships or leading to stress and resentment. Studies indicate that assertiveness has been linked with greater levels of educational achievement, job satisfaction and health outcomes.

Although assertiveness requires practice to master, many misinterpret it as aggressive. A more appropriate definition would be assertiveness as an approach to conflict resolution that helps you get what you want in life while upholding respect for all parties involved.

To effectively communicate assertively and confidently, you must be clear and direct with your speech. This includes using concise language without ambiguity. Furthermore, remaining calm and composed even when feeling nervous or stressed is also key; body language conveys confidence so be conscious of crossing arms or frowning when sitting or standing up.

Maintain eye contact when communicating assertively to show that you’re engaged with the conversation and listening to what the other person has to say; just make sure not to stare directly into their eyes as this could come across as intimidating.

if you’re having difficulty being assertive in certain situations, seeking professional assistance from a counselor or psychologist trained in assertiveness techniques could be of great assistance. They will offer strategies to overcome your challenges and develop assertive communicators skills – practicing these in low-key scenarios can build your self-confidence before applying them more successfully in more challenging interactions.

5. Maintain Eye Contact

Eye contact is one of the most powerful tools of assertive communication, showing your listeners you are confident and validating what you say by showing that it means what it says. Yet eye contact can sometimes be challenging to maintain in busy or noisy environments; using too much eye contact could come across as aggressive while too little could come across as shy and timid; finding that perfect balance requires practice, technique and confidence.

One reason people struggle with eye contact may be anxiety or fear that they will be judged; however, studies have demonstrated that avoiding eye contact only serves to increase feelings of anxiety and make you more self-conscious. Therefore, it’s best to relax when communicating with others and allow your natural body language take over – using techniques outlined here as part of an overall effort towards empowerment and confidence.

Alongside making eye contact, it is also crucial that when speaking clearly and with confidence. People will be more inclined to believe and pay attention when you speak clearly with conviction; conversely mumbling or stuttering can make it difficult for others to hear what you are saying as it creates the impression of lack of conviction or uncertainty on what to say next.

To develop your assertive communication skills, try practicing in public spaces like shopping malls and coffee shops. Try looking people directly in the eye and holding their gaze for several seconds at a time; once this becomes second nature to you, add more challenging situations to your practice sessions.