How to Be More Assertive in Your Relationship

Saying no firmly sets your boundaries and builds assertiveness.Saying no firmly sets your boundaries and builds assertiveness.

Though the thought of asserting oneself can pose a challenge to those who are naturally timid, doing so is a necessity if you want to get what you want in your relationship. If you feel that you are constantly being put-upon instead of getting your needs met, increasing your assertiveness is a wise choice. Being assertive doesn't have to mean being bossy or even pushy, but instead only requires that you make your desires known and avoid allowing yourself to act as a doormat.

Step 1

Build self-confidence. Some lack assertiveness because they aren't very confident in who they are as people. If you don't possess a great deal of self-confidence, work on building it, reminding yourself what a wonderful person you are and remembering your positive characteristics so you don't feel as if you don't deserve a voice.

Step 2

Develop the ability to say no. Some individuals who lack the ability to be assertive say yes to almost anything, leading themselves to do things they otherwise wouldn't have agreed to do. If you say yes regardless of how fervently you wish to say no, rectify the situation, reminding yourself to pause before responding to each query and critically considering whether saying yes is the best thing to do.

Step 3

Choose issues of importance for you to tackle. If you are just building your assertion skills, you likely won't be able to be assertive constantly. To increase your chances of assertiveness success, decide which issues are most important to you, and promise yourself that you will take a stand on these issues as you begin your movement towards assertiveness.

Step 4

Voice your opinions in an assertive fashion. When sharing your opinion, don't ask questions, such as, “Where do you want to go tonight?” but instead make statements such as, “I would like to eat Chinese food.” When you make statements, you make your opinion known instead of simply kowtowing to others and doing whatever they would like you to do.

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About the Author

Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.

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