What is assertiveness?

Assertiveness means taking responsibility and being in control of yourself.

It is the ability to express your thoughts, feelings and beliefs honestly and clearly and at the same time considering the needs and feelings of others.

Who is an assertive person?

A person who is assertive:

  • Expresses his thoughts, feelings and beliefs in a direct, honest and tactful manner
  • Does not violate the right of others
  • Prevents others from taking advantage on him
  • Stands for his own right
  • Does not intimidate others

What happens if you are not assertive?

You will:

  • Be Bullied
  • Hate yourself
  • Have low Self-esteem
  • Become Depressed
  • Be hostile toward others

How can you improve being assertive?

Practice these steps:

Learn to:

  • Speak directly and tactfully
  • Express yourself without hurting others
  • Express your thoughts, feelings and needs as clear as possible
    • E.g.: “I am sorry, I don’t smoke”
  • Visualize being assertive in your mind

Practice to be assertive:

  • In front of the mirror
  • In front of friends and family members

Ask for feedback.

Where can you go for help?

You can seek advice from your:

  • Parents
  • Trusted family members
  • School counselors
  • Religious teachers


Seek professional advice from:

  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
Last Reviewed : 20 April 2012
Writer : Dr. Farahida binti Md dai
Reviewer : Pn. Shahidah Bt. Mohamed Makki