Do you often wonder how to be assertive in a relationship? You’re not alone. How to be assertive but not aggressive is a common question people ask. Unfortunately, this question is not exactly straightforward and, thus, can be challenging to answer.
To understand how to be more assertive in your relationship, you must first understand what it means to be assertive.
In simple language, to be assertive means having a confident personality and standing up for yourself while still respecting the opinions and positions of others.
Assertiveness is an essential trait, and it is vital for your success in life and your relationship. Luckily, assertiveness can be taught, and you can learn the skill of assertiveness in relationships no matter your age.
What is assertiveness in relationships?
It is natural to want to make your partner happy. However, being assertive in a relationship means ensuring that you also get the things you need. While we want to make our partner happy, it is just as vital that we pay attention to ourselves.
Being assertive in your relationship allows you to talk openly about issues and share thoughts and opinions without fear. Assertive people approach problems head-on rather than enabling them to fester and grow from within.
A big part of assertive communication in a relationship is listening, admitting your mistakes and apologizing for them. An assertive person knows when they are wrong and aims to repair any damage their mistake has caused.
If you are looking to improve your assertiveness in your relationship, you should start by reflecting on your actions and correcting your wrongs.
To be more assertive in a relationship, you must be willing to be wrong and be grateful for the opportunity to grow. Assertive communication in a relationship involves sharing responsibility and a desire to do what is suitable for you and your partner.
If you are curious about how to be an assertive man or want to know how to be assertive with a girl, read on to discover ways to improve your assertiveness in your relationship.
Enhancing relationships through assertiveness
Being assertive in your relationship can help to enhance it in many ways. When you aim to improve your assertiveness in your relationship, you open the doors to possibility.
Being assertive in your relationship does not mean being aggressive or rude to your partner. It means understanding that you are separate people and embracing those differences while working towards a common goal.
While we would all like to share our needs and confidently express our feelings openly, many people struggle with being assertive in relationships. This issue occurs because our desire to make our partner happy often outweighs our needs, and we do not want to appear demanding. There should be a balance.
Being assertive in your relationship and practicing assertive communication can impact all relationships in your life, but none more so than your romantic relationships.
Assertive communication can reduce the stress of conflict with others, provide social support, and ensure that your needs are being met along with your partner’s needs. Assertive behavior allows couples to grow and become closer because it helps them express their needs productively and proactively.
Assertiveness is ultimately built on a foundation of respect – both for your partner and yourself. By being assertive in a relationship, you show your partner that you care about their needs equally to your own.
Being assertive in your relationship does not mean changing who you are. It simply means that you must see your worth and share that value with your partner while understanding that their worth is equal to yours.
Improving assertiveness in a relationship and practicing assertive communication is one of the best ways to enhance your bond and increase overall happiness for both of you.
15 tips to help you be assertive in a relationship
Learning to be more assertive in your relationship can be difficult. You may struggle to understand the difference between assertiveness and aggressiveness. However, learning to be assertive in a relationship is vital to your overall happiness, and it is essential to the success of your partnership.
If you wonder how to be assertive in a relationship or find yourself asking how to be assertive but not aggressive, the following tips may help.
Here are some tips to help you improve your assertiveness in a relationship.
1. Know your worth
There is little hope for assertive communication in relationships without understanding your value. Know your value and let it be your guide.
You cannot learn how to be assertive in a relationship without realizing that there is value in what you say and what you bring to the table.
2.Change the way you communicate
If you’re asking, how can I be more assertive? Start with the way that you communicate. Learn the basics of effective communication, and utilize them in everyday situations.
Healthy and effective communication is undeniably linked to learning how to be assertive in a relationship. It is a tool that will help you make your point so that it is received with respect and understanding.
Research tells us that relationship satisfaction and communication are interlinked, where one impacts the other in various ways.
3.Stick to the facts
Conflict often occurs because we are responding to things that are not facts. By sticking to the facts, you avoid getting lost in the excess.
While learning how to be assertive in a relationship, remember that facts are undeniable. Stating how you feel can be challenged or disregarded by someone when they feel cornered, but facts cannot be.
4.Stop judging, and start understanding
It is easy to assume that we know what another person is thinking, but we only know ourselves. Stop judging your partner’s behavior by assuming you know what they are thinking or feeling, and try to understand that behavior from their perspective instead.
In learning how to be assertive in a relationship, realize that the only thing you know is yourself.
Assertive communication in a relationship requires sharing what you feel. Use I statements to help you pinpoint the issue and share your feelings with your partner.
Research shows that ‘I statements’ reduce the perceived hostility in conversations and lead to more productive conversations. The other person will not feel cornered to state your opinion in a more receptive environment.
6.State behavior, results and feelings
Sticking to this formula allows you to get to the result faster and with less conflict. Share the behavior that caused the issue, the result of that behavior, and how it makes you feel.
By outlining the problem clearly and sticking to what you know about the situation, you reduce the chance of an argument. For example: when you are late, and I am left waiting, it makes me feel like I am not a priority.
7.Take time to breathe
If things are not going as planned or you do not know what to say, take a moment to breathe. It will give you a chance to gather your thoughts.
Studies have shown that breathing can reduce stress and calm down people, which can help you learn how to be assertive in a relationship.
8.Don’t let guilt guide you
One of the biggest obstacles to being assertive in a relationship is getting past the guilt of saying no. Remember, you say ‘no’ to the request, not the person.
Also, you have a right to say ‘no’ to things that make you feel uncomfortable or unhappy. Your mental health is important and being protective towards it is not something to feel guilty over.
Many times, learning how to be assertive in a relationship requires a complete overhaul of your mode of interaction with the world. Start small and give yourself room to adjust and grow.
13.Learn to listen
One of the most important aspects of being assertive in a relationship is learning to listen to your partner. By listening to what is being said, you can respond to the facts in a precise and controlled way that will help you avoid conflict.
To learn more about the power of listening, check out this video:
The skill of assertiveness in relationships takes time to master and will not happen overnight. Like any skill, being assertive in a relationship requires practice.
In learning how to be assertive in a relationship, you will have to practice being assertive every day. Repetition will help you become more natural at it.
15.Seek outside help
If you cannot find your footing and cannot figure out how to be more assertive in a relationship, seek outside help. Many counselors can help with being assertive in a relationship. Seek out the help of others if you find yourself struggling.
If you are trying to figure out how to be assertive in a relationship, you must look at how you communicate your needs to others. Being more assertive with your partner means understanding that your needs are equally as important as theirs and that you are a valuable part of this partnership.
Assertive communication in a relationship requires you to see both sides of the coin simultaneously and find ways to compromise to meet both of your needs. Being assertive in a relationship is not about winning, and it does not need to appear aggressive.
If you want to be more assertive with your partner, you need to balance and prioritize your needs. Improve your assertiveness in your relationship to become a happier, more robust version of yourself.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.