Assertiveness – The art of saying No



Assertiveness is the ability to honestly express your opinions, feelings, attitudes, and rights in a way that respects the right of others. When you communicate assertively, you communicate honestly but appropriately. To be assertive is to understand and consider other persons point of view, that every person has basic human rights that should be respected.

Learning assertiveness will give you and the people around you an easier time. Assertive communication is as straight forward communication considering the fact that you are not hurting other people’s feelings and also at the same time not being pushy and aggressive or being passive and submissive without taking into consideration own point of view.

Assertiveness is the middle ground between being a bully and a doormat.  An assertive person tactfully avoids the resistance that he might have otherwise faced by making sure he places his demands without hurting the other person’s ego. An assertive person will not sacrifice his own needs and wants just to please others, because an assertive person is usually a self confident person with high self – esteem.

There are certain points to be remembered when you politely refuse a proposal:

Try and use facts rather than judgments.

Explore your own beliefs.

Express ownership of your thoughts, feelings and opinions. Use “I” statements, such as “I want” or “I feel”.

Use of assertive body language.

Make clear and direct requests.


Being assertive is not just for troubled situations:


Being assertive can revolutionize your interactions with others, help you set boundaries, makes you feel better about yourself and lower your stress levels. Effective communication is crucial for attainment of your goals in professional life and also to have better relationships with friends and family. You always have a choice how to communicate back to anyone even if you do not have power to decide how other people will converse with you. Being assertive restricts their passive and aggressive talk preventing them to walk all over you and take you for granted. It helps you develop trust and equality in relationships.  Assertiveness is the most effective style of communication as you express your feelings and rights clearly to the point, where you accept all the responsibility of the message which is the first step of developing and improving communication with others. You act in your own best interests but still consider the needs of others.

Difficulties faced being assertive:

                When you start being assertive someone, things usually start getting worse before they get better.

When you plan on an assertive behavior remember that the other person is used to behaving in a certain way and might get confused with the change in your communication style. You can tell the person upfront what you are trying to do. Choose a quiet moment. Let us consider an example:

Imagine you have a neighbor who visits your place daily for tea in the evening when you are back from work. Now you can assertively reply your neighbor that, “Lets decide spending Fridays together for tea as I require sometime for myself after work to relax”. This way you are not rejecting the neighbor completely plus you get what you need.

A co- worker who constantly delegates some of his work to you. So one day you tell him that you are unwilling to do his work. Initially he will get confused, angry and will even try to push you harder than before. Do not yield to the pressure.  Stick to your new rule and eventually he will adapt to this new behavior and abide by it.

You cannot expect to be assertive overnight. It is something that you develop and strengthen over time. Make sure you set barriers which you are able to defend as it requires a lot of self discipline and control. The relationship will get tougher and difficult so remember to choose a time when you have the strength to deal with the anxiety of the situations, be prepared to keep to the rule else they will push harder the next time.


Practicing assertive behavior regularly and reminding yourself that you have value is an important way to build that assertiveness.

The combined effects of multiple acts of assertiveness will increase your confidence in multiple areas of your life. As your assertive behavior becomes more natural, you should begin to feel happier and more confident with yourself.

As far as handwriting is concerned, assertiveness can be assessed through your handwriting.

A writer with angularity in writing can be said assertive.

In other words, if you find tops of letters, especially middle zone letters in large sized or larger than medium sized writing, these writers are assertive in their behavior.







The combined effects of multiple acts of assertiveness will increase your confidence in multiple areas of your life. As your assertive behavior becomes more natural, you should begin to feel happier and more confident with yourself.




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