Be Assertive to reach your goals

Being assertive is essential to manage your self esteem, your stress levels and to keep any change focused on your needs and not to be swayed by the wishes and agendas of others.

A lot of lifestyle stress comes from either communicating aggressively with people, which generates stress and regretting behaviour or to be passive which results in getting stressed because too much responsibility and work is passed to us because we do not have the skills to prevent it.


This simple and effective approach to communicating your needs will help you develop strategies to manage your self esteem and  your stress levels and express what you want without feeling guilty or rejecting the wishes of others.

Aggressive, passive or be true to yourself?

When looking at this communication style, the first thing to consider is what it actually means. There are three ways of interacting with others, being aggressive, being passive and being assertive.


Aggressive communication disregards the feelings and needs of others. This can be seen either through physical aggression but also by being verbally aggressive, dominating someone, whilst  choosing to ignore the needs of others.

People with low self esteem behave like this for a range of paradoxical reasons. They may behave aggressively because they are frustrated and despite feeling weak and vulnerable, do not want to appear weak so overtly behave aggressively because they do not want to appear weak, others with low self esteem adopt aggressive approaches because they fear rejection and if they are aggressive then they can excuse any rejection that they may experience.

Don't neglect your own needs

When we are passive we neglect our own needs and feelings so for example we will focus on others, give our time when we are busy, share our assets when we have too few to cope, give food when we are hungry. People with low self esteem do this because they believe that they are not as worthy as others to have their share of resources and may be heard saying “I am alright”, I am not hungry” “I can afford to lend you money” when they are not.

Take a balanced approach and stay in control


Ideally you are seeking to get the balance between the two approaches. Here the needs of the various parties are recognised and valued. This does not mean that everyone gets what they want but that all parties experience respect and where possible all needs are met or at least overtly recognised.

Being heard and valued without being aggressive is essential for making and maintaining change because this way of communicating gives you the skills to value yourself and others equally. It will aid you in communicating your own plans and needs and give you the skills to prevent anyone else from undermining them.

Assertiveness builds motivation

This ability to communicate will help you stay motivated in whatever you are working to change whether it is smoking, weight management, addiction, depression or anxiety as you will be able to adequately meet your own needs. Failing to meet your own needs serves to harm your self esteem and your motivation and thus your ability to keep change going when you experience new challenges. For more information on how to assert yourself more then click here.

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