How to build Assertiveness


Assertiveness is the sweet spot between being passive and aggressive. It’s a skill that enables the person to confidently stand up for his or her own rights while at the same time, respecting the rights of others.

There are lots of reasons why you may not be as assertive as you’d like. You may feel:

  1. A mistaken sense of responsibility for other people’s feelings
  2. Scared of expressing yourself
  3. You lack skills and information on how to be assertive

assertive centre imageAssertiveness 

Being assertive is different from being passive or aggressive. Assertiveness is being direct and honest with people. You speak up when something is bothering you and you ask when you need something. Unlike aggression, assertiveness comes with a certain degree of calmness. People who are assertive know how to ask but also understand that some of their requests may not be granted.

Recommendations to help you build assertion in your day to day activities and statements

Instead of saying this> say this instead

  • Sorry but I might need to finish earlier today> I will need to switch off at 5pm
  • Sorry I’m just writing back to you right now> It would be easier to talk on the phone
  • Sorry I’m not sure I’m making sense here> Let me know if you have any questions
  • What works best for you> Could you do…?
  • No worries, it’s cool> Happy to help when I can
  • Sorry, I just wanted to check in> When can I expect an update?
  • So sorry I made a mistake> Thank you for pointing it out, I’ve updated it
  • Maybe we should...> It would be best if…
  • Sorry to make you wait> Thank you for your patience


faith ogega bio pic
By Faith Ogega

Hospital Psychologist

Chiromo Hospital Group

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