Assertiveness is communicating your opinions, feelings, and needs in a way that is clearly understood by others without disrespecting their opinions, feelings, and needs.

Tips for Assertive Communication

  • Use “I” statements to express your perspective (how you are feeling about the situation, your needs, your opinion)
    • “I feel frustrated when you do not clean up after yourself.”
  • Focus on the present issue or need
    • Avoid bringing up the past
    • Be specific and use clear language to state your perspective
  • Process the problem- not the person
    • Avoid name calling or using “you” statements
      • “You never pick up after yourself”
      • “You’re lazy”
  • Focus on the facts
  • Maintain appropriate tone of voice and non-verbal skills
    • Calm but firm tone voice
    • Appropriate eye-contact
  • Listen to the other person’s point of view without judgement
    • Be willing to compromise if necessary and appropriate

Communication Spectrum


You step on me


Both are protected


I step on you