assertA method of psychotherapy that reinforces you for stating negative and positive feelings directly. It is also a cognitive/behavioral technique that teaches clients to express their feelings and needs rather than being passive and letting other people take advantage, overwhelm, or dominate them (a characteristic of people who were abused in childhood).



WHAT IS ASSERTIVENESS?: Being assertive is the art of getting understood by others by being neither aggressive nor passive, but by stating your needs clearly and effectively.

Assertiveness is:

1. Being able to stand up for yourself.

2. Making sure your opinions and feelings are considered.

3. Not letting other people always get their way.

4. A way of communicating and behaving with others that helps people to become more confident and aware of themselves.

5. A skill that can be learned.

Assertiveness is not:

1. Aggressiveness, you can be assertive without being forceful or rude.

2. Almost everyone, at some time will find themselves in situations where they find it difficult to express themselves clearly.

Examples might be:

1. Dealing with angry people

2. Communicating our true feelings to friends and family.

3. Dealing with unhelpful shop assistants, call centers etc.

4. Often situations such as these may be dealt with by holding in feelings and not expressing them, or getting angry or simply giving in while still holding resentment. This usually leaves a person unhappy, with a feeling of not being in control and the problem remains unresolved.

When these responses to difficult situations become a habit it can lead to a loss of confidence which compounds the problem.


Not knowing how to be assertive can cause you to feel:

1. Depressed as a result of unexpressed anger

2. Angry at others for manipulating or taking advantage you

3. Helpless

4. Hopeless

5. That you have no control over your life

6. Resentful

7. Frustrated

8. Lonely You may start to feel despondent and angry with yourself for being weak. You may ask yourself why did I let someone victimize me? You may find yourself at times blowing up with rage, repressed feelings can build up inside us.

Anxiety about situations can lead to avoidance. It is worth learning to feel confident about being assertive in order to move forward and enjoy more that life has to offer.

Being non-assertive can lead to poor relationships at home and a work. Non-assertive people can find it difficult to express emotions of any kind, negative OR positive. Relationships that work usually consist of two people that can tell each other what they want and need and how the other person affects them. Other people cannot read your mind. Learning to be assertive can lead to more fulfilling relationships at home and at work. Not being able to express your feelings can lead to physical complaints like headaches, ulcers, and high blood pressure. Stress causes all kinds of complaints, and learning to be assertive can relieve stress and anxiety.


Assertiveness Training Communication Styles Overview