Assertive Communication: How to improve?


Your relationships can be strengthened through assertive communication since it can reduce the stress caused by conflict and provide you with social support when you are going through challenging circumstances. You will be able to prevent overbooking your calendar and maintain balance in your life by responding to excessive requests from other people with a “no” that is both courteous and assertive. A better grasp of assertive communication can make it easier for you to deal with challenging family, friends, and coworkers, hence minimizing the likelihood of drama and stress in your life. This helps you get what you need out of relationships while also ensuring that your loved ones may get what they need out of those interactions. Although many people associate forceful communication with hostility and confrontation, assertiveness brings people together rather than driving them further apart. It does take the experience to communicate assertively. Aggressive behavior will inevitably result in broken relationships and upset feelings. There is a direct correlation between passivity and stress, as well as resentment and, in rare cases, even aggression.

Improve Your Communication Style

Learning to talk assertively enables you to respect the interests and rights of everyone involved, including your own, as well as to establish and uphold clear boundaries within your relationships while simultaneously assisting others in feeling appreciated. You may improve your communication skills by following these steps and developing a healthy communication style.

Be Factual About What You Don’t Like

Stick to accurate statements of what someone has.

Don’t Judge or Exaggerate

Being accurate about the aspects of someone’s conduct that bother you, without making things sound worse than they are or passing judgment, is an excellent place to start. The same can be said when attempting to describe the results of their behavior.

Use “I” Messages

People are more likely to feel attacked or judged if you begin a sentence with “You…” because it gives the impression that you are attacking them. When you begin a sentence with “I,” the attention is drawn more to how you are now feeling and how the other person’s actions are affecting you.

Put everything into perspective.

This formulation offers a clear, non-aggressive, and more responsible manner of letting people know how their behavior affects you, provided that it is used with factual truths rather than judgments or labels.

List behavior, results, and feelings.

Make an effort to think in terms of a situation in which both parties can come out ahead: search for a solution or compromise that will allow you both to have your demands met. If you have a friend who is chronically late to everything, switching up the location of your get-togethers with them might help. You might also opt to only arrange plans during times of the day when you have more flexibility in your schedule and their tardiness won’t cause you as much worry.

What does it mean to communicate assertively?

Being assertive is a constructive and non-confrontational way to communicate one’s disagreement with a particular circumstance or idea. It is an effective way of expressing one’s disagreement. You can be assertive by refusing demands beginning, continuing, or concluding a conversation asking for favors, and expressing both positive and negative feelings. In general, the goal of assertive communication is to accomplish one’s aims without provoking disagreeable interactions or putting one’s relationships in jeopardy, although this can take many different forms and can occur in many different contexts. Nine qualities define an assertive communication style. Communicating assertively requires a variety of verbal and nonverbal qualities to be effective. The following are nine illustrations:

  • Eye contact demonstrates that the speaker is confident and will not be intimidated by the audience.
  • A confident stance or posture strikes the ideal balance between sternness and an air of nonchalance. Slouching, on the other hand, may be interpreted as a sign of weakness, whereas rigidly standing may be interpreted as aggressive.
  • The tenor of one’s voice. 
  • Facial expression. 
  • Timing. 
  • Nonthreatening, non-blaming language.
  • Clarity
  • Positive language.
  • A language that is devoid of self-criticism or criticism of others.

Managing interactions with bullies

Bullying continues to have devastating long-term consequences for a large number of children and adolescents. A skill that is useful for discouraging such behavior before it escalates to a more serious level is assertive communication. Schools have started implementing anti-bullying programs like Problem-Based Learning, which stands for “Problem-Based Learning”. PBL has been shown to improve children’s ability to think critically and come up with solutions to problems. Teaching children that bullying behavior is not appropriate for any child at any time is another beneficial application of such skills. Children who have developed assertive problem-solving skills, for instance, are better able to stand up for a child who is being targeted, invite that child to participate in their activities, and explain the situation to a teacher.

Coming into contact with smokers

Even though smoking bans have been enacted in several countries, people who don’t smoke are still at risk of being exposed to the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. For instance, people who use public transportation and take shelter from the rain at a bus stop may unknowingly be exposed to the secondhand smoke that is exhaled by other passengers. On the other hand, people who are exposed to secondhand smoke in a public setting typically do not complain about it. However, individuals are more likely to engage in assertive communication when they have a higher level of both self-efficacy and the perception that the risks posed by secondhand smoke are more significant.

Regarding the profession of nursing

The field of nursing is a great example of an industry in which assertiveness has historically not been encouraged. This has frequently resulted in dissatisfaction and a lack of self-worth among nursing staff. Despite this, assertive communication is necessary for nurses because they frequently work in high-pressure environments that demand efficient collaboration. Such a nurse would work in a busy emergency room under the supervision of a demanding supervisor. In addition to this, they will anticipate receiving respectful treatment, acting in the best interest of the patient, having a reasonable amount of work to do, and receiving a fair wage.

The Numerous Advantages That Can Result From Being Assertive

Assertive communication has been shown to have a wide variety of positive effects. Here are 18:

  • a heightened sense of self-awareness
  • A more positive self-image
  • An improved possibility of locating constructive solutions
  • a higher level of confidence in oneself
  • Higher self-esteem
  • More consideration and appreciation for the thoughts and experiences of others
  • improved capacity for self-control
  • Capabilities of more effective communication
  • Greater respect for oneself
  • Improved capacity to steer clear of conflicts with other people
  • Increased levels of self-disclosure
  • A lower level of anxiety
  • Greater sense of one’s worth
  • Lower risk of being exploited or forced to do something against one’s will
  • An improved capacity to keep stress under control
  • Decreased levels of depression
  • Better interpersonal connections
  • Improvements in health

Assertive vs. Aggressive Communication

What Does Assertive Mean

Being or showing oneself to be confident is the essence of what it is to be assertive. Therefore, someone who is aggressive is confident and self-assured in themselves. As a result, someone who is assertive makes an effort to communicate their thoughts, while at the same time respecting the opinions of others. Therefore, they honor themselves and their thoughts and beliefs by being self-assured and standing up for what they believe in. Assertive people accept others as equals, and as a result, they behave politely toward others while also being confident in themselves. This is the dividing line between being assertive and being aggressive, so keep this in mind. In contrast to someone assertive, someone who is aggressive treats others in a hostile manner at all times and seeks to prove to themselves that they are infallibly right about everything by exerting their authority over others. In a nutshell, the trait of being assertive can be defined as the ability to exude self-assurance and confidence without coming off as aggressive. In a similar vein, forceful people have strong communication abilities, and they are very capable of convincing others, which is an important trait in a good leader. As a result, assertive communication requires having respect for both one’s own and other people’s limits. At the same time, it presupposes an interest in the satisfaction of requirements and preferences through a collaborative effort.

What Does Aggressive Mean?

Someone aggressive is someone who overestimates himself and is hyper-focused on themselves. They have a propensity to minimize the capabilities of others, including their ability to make decisions. In addition to this, they are constantly trying to establish their beliefs by being unpleasant to other people, whether through debating or by abusing them physically. Therefore, someone with an aggressive personality tends to have an authoritarian disposition. Because of this, an aggressive person is constantly prepared to fight their position, regardless of the topic. Someone who is aggressive likely has a strong sense of dominance as a result of their behavior. They do not respect other people, and they try to force their thoughts and beliefs onto other people, which is a violation of other people’s right to individual freedom of choice and decision-making. As a consequence of this, aggressive persons always look forward to attacking or insulting others, whether verbally or even violently; they constantly have the want to triumph. Because of this, an aggressive person does not consider harming the other person to be something harmful; rather, they view it as merely a by-product of effective conversation or bargaining.

The Distinction between Being Assertive and Being Aggressive

Those who are assertive are self-assured and confident about their own opinions. According to this definition, the distinction between being assertive and being aggressive is obvious even at a glance.

Quick information

  • Both assertiveness and violence are distinct strategies for resolving conflict, and each has its own set of distinctive characteristics as well as frequently contrasting results.
  • To begin, aggressive behavior is generally considered to be a negative type of expression, whereas assertive behavior is considered to be a positive form of expression.
  • In addition, the foundation of assertive behavior is respect, but the foundation of aggressive communication is not respect.
  • Aggression, on the other hand, almost always makes the situation worse, whereas an assertive approach is more fruitful.
  • In conclusion, the difference between aggressive behavior and assertive behavior is that aggressive behavior puts others down while assertive behavior stands up for oneself and one’s principles in a non-threatening manner.
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