Assertiveness and Communication

The importance of assertiveness

Assertiveness is a communication style. When someone is communicating assertively they are expressing their thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and opinions in an open manner that doesn’t violate the rights of others. It is respecting both our own needs and the needs of others. Assertiveness is important because it means communicating in a respectful manner, and demonstrates that you are able to stand up for your own interests and express your feelings and thoughts easily and openly. Being assertive can help with confidence and self-esteem, improve decision-making, and help create honest relationships. Consequently, being unassertive can lead to low self-esteem, anxiety, stress and it can also lead to unhealthy relationships.

What stops us from being assertive?

  • Self-defeating beliefs – i.e., “I will upset the other person”
  • Skills deficit – we may not have the verbal and nonverbal skills to be assertive
  • Anxiety and stress – may make it difficult to think and act clearly
  • Cultural and generational influences.

How psychological treatment can help with assertiveness

Assertiveness training is a cognitive and behavioural technique that can help you to develop the necessary social skills to manage interpersonal situations more effectively. The purpose is to teach the appropriate strategies, whilst also helping you to address and challenge any unhelpful thoughts or beliefs that may be effecting your ability to communicate assertively. Ultimately, by learning strategies to communicate more assertively it can lead to greater contentment and more pleasurable interactions with others.

How Seed Psychology can help you

If you are experiencing difficulties with asserting yourself, our psychologists are trained and experienced in helping you to develop the skills required to communicate assertively.

Written by Rachel Braithwaite, Psychologist at Seed Psychology