Learning to Speak Up for Yourself (Assertiveness)


A lot of people have trouble expressing feelings openly and honestly. A lack of "assertiveness" may keep you from speaking up for yourself. Others can fail to consider your feelings. They may take advantage of you. This causes social problems. And it can hold you back at school or at work. Learning to be more assertive will help you in life.

Is assertiveness the same as aggression?

But wait, is assertiveness the same as aggressiveness? No, it isn't. Aggressive communication is when you do things like yell, belittle, threaten or dismiss others. Don't do any of these things to be assertive. To be assertive, just be honest with other people. Tell them what you are feeling. Make suggestions and requests when you need to.

Develop your assertive skills

So how can you learn to be more assertive? Well, you need to practice. Start in small ways. When talking with others, speak clearly and don't whisper. Make eye contact with people instead of looking down. Don't accept unreasonable requests. Learn to say the word "no." And don't let other people force their values on you. Tell them how you think and feel. You need to work on doing this with your friends and acquaintances every day.


Learning to speak up for yourself isn't easy, but you deserve to have your voice heard. Becoming more assertive is one of the best things you can do for yourself. So don't give up.