Assertiveness Training


Do You or Someone You Know Struggle With Being Assertive?

A very common problem that therapists deal with apart from anxiety and depression is assertiveness training. Many people who go to therapy are asking a similar question in different ways, “How can I get what I want, when I have a hard time asking for it?”

In order to effectively get what you want, you need to start by figuring out what is it, exactly, that you want. If you want to stand up for yourself, you need to have your goals and your vision well defined. You have to lay out a strategy that is matched to those goals so that you know what it is that you want, and so that you’ll know when you’re not getting it. Otherwise, you’re left with a vague sense of dissatisfaction and resentment. 

If you can’t express arguments for your needs then you won’t be able to effectively negotiate. Once you know what you want, and  why it is that you want it, then you can make a compelling case for yourself. And, of course you will need the courage to put your needs out there.

Being assertive means clearly and respectfully asking for what you want. And it means saying no to what you don’t want.

Passive Communication

Going with the flow. Avoiding expressing our own preferences (avoiding conflict); Giving in to other people’s requests and demands.

Aggressive Communication

Forcing others to do what we want; Taking. an unreasonable amount of control over other people’s lives; Often used by those who feel afraid and helpless.

Passive-Aggressive Communication

Expressing our frustrations and dissatisfactions while simultaneously avoiding responsibility for the consequences. Associated with feeling guilty.

Common Barriers to Being More Assertive

Some common barriers to being more assertiveness include:


You’re afraid that the person will think poorly of you or judge you if you express what you really want.


You would rather avoid the drama or guilt-tripping that would come with standing up for your needs.


You become aggressive and put others down because it makes you feel powerful and confident.


You passive-aggressively negotiate the situation because you want the satisfaction of expressing your anger, and, you’re not willing to take responsibility for the consequences of it.

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