What is Assertiveness? | Assertiveness Basics

  • Assertiveness is the complex ability to think, emotionally react, and act in a way that is Non-passive and Non-aggressive.
  • A person whose thoughts and actions are guided by the assertive principles is able to openly express his/her opinions, feelings, needs, and desires and act in accordance with his/her own objectives and goals while at the same time respecting the opinions, feelings, needs, desires, objectives, and goals of others.


  • Knowing and claiming your own rights while at the same time respecting the rights of others.
  • Having the ability to set and respect personal boundaries.
  • Recognizing and assigning value to both yourself and others.
  • Knowing your own strengths and vulnerabilities and at the same time recognizing the strengths of others and treating their vulnerabilities in a considerate manner.
  • Knowing you are in control of your own life. You are also aware that others have the right and skills to control their own lives as well.
  • Taking an active role in guiding your own life.
  • Being guided by a sense of equality and seeking to promote equity in social interactions.
  • Taking responsibility for your actions and also understanding the limits of that responsibility. You also understand that others are responsible for their own actions.


Assertiveness can be considered simultaneously:

  • A Set of Skills
  • A Communication Style and
  • A Type of Behavior.
  • The Set of Skills involves cognitive, emotional, and behavioral elements.

You think, manage your emotions and act in an assertive way.

Empathy, effective listening skills, and thinking patterns that are predominantly rational are among the qualities that describe an assertive person.

  • The Communication Style refers to using assertive verbal and non-verbal techniques and strategies in your social interactions.

An assertive individual is able to express his/her opinions, feelings, and needs openly, in a direct and authentic manner.

  • The Assertive Behavior means being able to generally act in ways that project the assertive principles and traits.