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Assertiveness is another part of self-advocacy. I will give an example to demonstrate. I spoke with someone recently by telephone to share some information which he had known but not previously shared with me. I could have said “Why didn’t you tell me?” which would have been perceived as aggression. Instead I assertively explained what I learned from another source and said, “Why is that?” An assertive response demonstrated my respectful desire for an answer. In this article, I will explain assertiveness, give strategies for practicing the skill and provide resources.
Assertiveness is directly related to self-confidence and self-advocacy due to its definition. As
this article from SkillsYouNeed
explains, assertiveness means standing up for yourself calmly and positively without showing aggression. A crucial part of assertiveness is making a point self-confidently. When being assertive, it is important to be respectful when advocating. I will now discuss some assertiveness strategies.
There are a variety of assertiveness strategies. An excellent starting point is this article:
“5 simple assertiveness strategies”.
Strategies include planning what you want to say (referred to in the article as scripting), repeating yourself when necessary and being concise. I also suggest reading
“10 tips for being assertive”.
Suggested Strategies in that article include staying calm, agreeing to disagree and using “I” instead of “you” statements. In my experience, I have found the three strategies mentioned in the sentence above to be very beneficial. They demonstrate a willingness to make a point without aggression. I will now share some additional assertiveness resources.
A variety of additional assertiveness resources exist online. One is
which provides questions and answers about the subject. Questions answered include: “How do I become assertive if I don’t want to seem mean or pushy?”, “Are there any drawbacks to being assertive?” and “What are the benefits of being assertive?”. I also found online this
assertiveness training presentation (PDF).
It includes the three C’s of assertiveness: clear, confidence and controlled. People who learn best by YouTube can watch this
video: “3 Simple Ways to Relieve Your Stress With Assertiveness”.
Two of the strategies suggested by the speaker are asking questions and creating clarity. I encourage readers to learn more about this skill.
Question for readers: What strategies do you use when being assertive? I will return next week with another article.