Assertiveness. It's Time to Say ‘No’

Maybe you relate to this situation:

A friend asks if you can take him home. Despite the fact that you are doing terrible because he lives contrary to your route, you say yes because you do not want him to be angry with you.

Or, you think you deserve a better work schedule, but you don't discuss it with your supervisor or human resources, because you think it might cause problems.

Well, in either of those two situations, you should have said what you thought.

Many of us passively accept situations and, like a glass that receives drops of water and fills little by little until it overflows, we see how we lose respect for ourselves until, like the glass, we reach a point of no return, and we explode with rage. Then come the consequences.


This statement sounds contradictory coming from a journalist. We are supposed to be communication experts. You would think that in my case, it should be a piece of cake to be assertive. The reality is it is not.

Assertiveness is a social skill and a communication skill that allows us to express our emotions and thoughts honestly without aggressiveness or passivity, respecting others but above all respecting yourself and your needs. The assertive person expresses himself freely and does not try to "win" an argument. It seeks to open a channel of communication and listening.


Güell and Muñoz comment in the book 'Unknown yourself' that assertive behavior protects against manipulation attempts, in which a person is pressured to have behaviors that they do not want to perform; Therefore, assertiveness favors interpersonal relationships, promotes self-esteem and emotional self-control.


In assertiveness, you say what you think, and the good news is that you can learn it.


Taking small steps, in simple situations with trusted people. Little by little you will trust your ability to say what you think with total clarity, emotional peace and in a climate of respect.


Saying NO when you should say no, while being considerate, in a simple and direct way because there is no need to give many explanations. Don't apologize for saying what you want, feel, or think, either. Say it and wait for an answer. Being assertive is communicating.


Speak in the first person. Instead of saying: Don't do it that way!; you are always late; I can't do this; I will never get that job, so I will not apply.


Say: Let's do it this way; try to be on time; I will do my best; I will apply to that job, I have to try.


Remember that communication is a trio, verbal, body and intonation. Take care of all three. Speak clearly and loudly without justifying or explaining your opinion, since this is one of the characteristics of non-assertive people because they seek to please and therefore feel compelled to explain.


At first, it will not be very easy, but to achieve objectives and goals it is necessary to be patiently stubborn, that is to say persistent.


There will always be situations in which communication will stop being assertive to be passive or aggressive to achieve goals.

Assertiveness feeds self-confidence, thus improving self-esteem. It optimizes the control of your life and your emotions, and substantially improves relationships with others and is closely related to empathy. In assertiveness, the words that are pronounced are defended, and in empathy, the words that others pronounce are understood.

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