Assertiveness in English


Assertiveness is a social ability that certain individuals possess to communicate and defend their own rights and ideas in an appropriate manner and respecting those of others.

Assertiveness is an aptitude that allows the person to communicate their point of view from the balance between an aggressive style and a passive style of communication.

The word assertiveness comes from the Latin assertus, which denotes a statement about the certainty of something.

Assertive communication

Assertive communication is a way of expressing what you think or want in a clear and respectful way, considering the existence of other points of view and without being aggressive or passive.

Communication with assertiveness is clear, objective, transparent and honest, this type of communication has several advantages among which are:

  • Improves the ability to express and social image.
  • Encourage respect for other people.
  • It facilitates communication.
  • It improves the negotiation capacity.
  • Help resolve disputes.

Assertiveness in psychology

According to psychology, behaviors can be divided into 3 categories: passive, aggressive and assertive. Assertiveness is established between aggressive and passive behavior, and therefore it is considered that social interaction under assertive behavior is healthy, since it is safe and respectful.

Hence, it is considered that a person without assertiveness becomes socially ineffective because he fails to communicate what he wants properly.

On the other hand, being assertive does not necessarily mean being right. The assertive person is one who knows he may be wrong but remains calm, and is able to hear other points of view in order to reach a better understanding of the situation.

Assertiveness and empathy

Empathy implies putting oneself in the place of the other to understand their reasoning and behavior, something that is an indispensable requirement to put assertiveness into practice. Therefore, it is not possible to be assertive if there is no genuine interest in the other.