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Assertive Communication Techniques…

Assertiveness is your best bet for communicating and helps you maintain honest, long lasting relationships with others. It conveys your needs and wants, while respecting yourself and others.  Acting assertively allows others to hear you and also allows you to express yourself. It’s a win-win!

Myth: Assertiveness is mean/rude/abrasive. Not so! When you are assertive you are being polite and asking for what you want and deserve in the same manner that you would like others to speak to you.



Express Assert


(be) Mindful

(act) Assertively Negotiate

Non Assertive Behaviors:

Aggressive: Demanding, abrasive or acting in a hostile manner; insensitive to others needs or feelings and attempt to obtain what you want through coercion or intimidation. Aggressive individuals often create conflict, purposeful drama, and are usually disrespectful. Aggressive individuals are less likely to form healthy relationships, be fulfilled, and have more health problems due to increased stress.  Those who are aggressive are also less confident and use their intimating behaviors to compensate for the lack of self-esteem they have for themselves.  They may threaten to or hurt others emotionally or physically to get what they want (i.e. punch, hit, kick, put-downs, throw chairs, break belongings, etc.) Aggressive body language includes glaring, gritting teeth, appearing over confident, rolling one’s eyes.

Passive/submissive: Yielding to someone else’s preferences while discounting your own rights and needs.  These individuals don’t express their feelings or let others know what they want.  People who are over-invested in being “nice” or “pleasing” and uncomfortable expressing their needs, giving others the message that they are insecure or unsure.  Others tend to discount your needs leading to low self-esteem or resentment. Passive behavior patterns can lead to feeling hurt, upset, nervous or angry. Your needs are not met and you can feel out of control, dependent and helpless. When you act passively, you might: (i.e.) Put yourself down – “I never know what to do”, apologize too often, put other peoples’ needs first, say “It doesn’t really matter” when it does, or are indecisive “No, no, you decide”. Your body language appears like you have low confidence; looking down, shrugs, mumbles, lack of eye contact with others.

Passive Aggressive: Instead of openly addressing an issue, you hide aggressive feelings in a covert fashion. Instead of asking for or doing something about what you really want you drop hints, complain, annoy, or pester others. You seldom get what you want because you don’t get the point across in a clear and assertive way.  You are more likely to have aggressive outbursts or emotional breakdowns, feeling like “no one is listening to me!” or have internal frustration and get angry at yourself leading to lower self-esteem.

Manipulative: Attempt to get what you want by making others feel sorry for you or guilty. Instead of taking responsibility you play the victim or martyr to get others to take care or listen to you. It may make others feel crazy or angry because they are being pushed to the limit, it’s often confusing for the receiver. Manipulative people are more likely to feel alone, angry, and unheard and overtime have strained relationships with others as they are unable to express their needs.

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