What is Assertive Communication?
As assertive communication we call that by which we manage to express to others in a simple, clear and timely way, what we feel, want or think.
Assertive communication is a valuable social skill, which is associated with emotional intelligence and the ability to communicate harmoniously and effectively with others.
In this type of communication, it is not necessary to resort to aggressiveness to communicate our ideas, but neither does it imply that we withdraw or lock ourselves in a passive or docile attitude that prevents us from communicating what we feel.
Thus, in assertive communication it must always deprive the balance: it is about communicating clearly and objectively our point of view, our desires or our feelings, with honesty and respect, without undermining, offending or hurting the other or their ideas or opinions.
In this sense, assertive communication tries to avoid frequent errors in communication, such as personal attacks, reproaches or offenses, which only make communication difficult, ineffective, or simply invalidate it.
For example , in an awkward situation, such as asking a friend to pay you back the money you loaned them, you could proceed in three different ways:
- Aggressive: you are required to pay the money as soon as possible without hearing or admitting excuses or justifications, you can even resort to insults or nasty nicknames.
- Passive: You are told that it doesn’t matter if you can’t pay yet, and you are told not to worry.
- Assertive: you are reminded that you have not yet paid the money, your reasons are heard, and you are seeking to redefine a date when payment is possible.
Assertive communication proceeds in this way because this type of communication is fundamentally based on respect: the other is respected and what he wants or needs to express. But it is also built on empathy for the other, as this allows for closeness and mutual trust between people and their different positions.
Another very important aspect in assertive communication is constant dialogue and the willingness to negotiate on some issues or compromise on certain positions and, above all, to cooperate in order to always be able to reach a solution.
Assertive communication positively influences our relationship with others both personally, with our family, partner and friends, and at work, with our coworkers, our boss, or with our customers or suppliers. In general, it is about maintaining positive, respectful, harmonious, productive and effective communication with others.