Assertive Communication is a communication style in which a person stands up for their own needs and wants, while also taking into consideration the needs and wants of others, without behaving passively or aggressively. This method of communication can be used across a wide range of situations, including in work settings, relationships, and with strangers. Assertive Communication can help you express yourself effectively and stand up for yourself. Being assertive can help boost your self-esteem and earn others’ respect; it can also help you manage stress.
· Clearly states needs and wants
· Makes eye contact
· Listens to others without interruption
· Speaks at an appropriate volume
· Keeps their tone of voice steady
· Displays confident body language
Common challenges among those who struggle with being assertive include experiencing stress because you tend to take on too many responsibilities (often because you have a hard time saying no); avoiding conflict; feeling resentment or anger because your wants and needs weren’t addressed; and/or periodically doubting or questioning your own judgment.
One of the factors that often makes it difficult for people to be assertive is that they get stuck in a thinking pattern in which they simply assume – without careful consideration – that their negative thoughts or beliefs are true. Below are a few typical examples of unassertive thoughts:
Training in Assertive Communication has proven valuable for building and maintaining relationships across all life domains and improving psychological well-being, with positive impacts on depression, anxiety, self-esteem, relationship satisfaction, among others.
CSP has therapists who are trained to teach you assertiveness techniques and strategies. Below are some examples of treatment approaches we specialize in to help clients learn to be assertive and to address any related, underlying problems:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Key aspects of assertiveness training include assisting our clients in identifying unhelpful beliefs and strengthening both verbal and nonverbal communication techniques. We have exercises on hand to help practice assertive responses to various situations.
Our goal for our clients who seek therapy for assertive communication is to help you build your self-confidence and self-esteem, gain a sense of empowerment, and understand and recognize your feelings.