Assertive communication means expressing ourselves in a direct, open and honest way that is respectful of other people.
It is about being able to communicate our needs to another person and working towards a ‘win-win’ solution to problems and avoid confrontation.
Imagine a seesaw where passive communication is on one side and aggressive on the other. Assertiveness is the neutral, level middle ground.
Being assertive will not guarantee fair treatment by others. Nor does it mean we will always get what we want. However, communicating assertively can help us to feel more in control of everyday situations.
When we are able to clearly state our boundaries it can help prevent feelings like anger and resentment from building up. Other people will respect us more if we can communicate in an assertive way.