Assertiveness Techniques

Assertiveness techniques are very simple and essential for keeping motivation going when making changes in your life.

 So for example if someone does not want to go out they may say “Thanks for the invite, but no thanks. Please have a nice time”.

The value of these communication techniques have been discussed in a previous page on this site so this page will focus on the most important tools to get what you want.

Use Your Assertiveness by Buying Time

This is where you give yourself time to make a decision instead of passively agreeing to what others suggest. For example: "Let’s go shopping.” The Buying Time approach uses a simple expression which says I am not going to make a decision right now, whilst remaining polite and reasonable.

Alternative Buying time Techniques

There are four universal questions which give you more time to think whilst putting the responsibility back on the person speaking to you.

1) Tell me more about that.

2) Why would you say that?

3) Why would you do that ?

4) Why would you ask that ?


One example could be “Let me think about that.” This gives you time to consider what you had planned and also, even if you have no plans, gives you thinking time to decide if you actually want to take up this offer. This approach is vital when dealing with addictions and panic attacks as you may find that by being passive and not considering the implications of saying yes to some offers you end up putting yourself in dangerous situations because you don't say no.

The second technique to support you get people to accept that your "no" means "NO!" is more challenging as this is used when people reject your first answer. This means if you say no to something they will attempt to change your answer by being persistent.

The cracked record or broken record technique

This Assertiveness technique is pretty straight forward to use. Whatever you decide is the answer that is right for you, you just repeat it in various forms. So for example: if you need to think about something someone may push you for an answer. You could say I am going to think about it. Someone may say, "What is there to think about?" You reply "I don’t know, I want to think about it." They may say "There is nothing to think about". You reply "I still want to think about it". "But If you want an answer right now though, it will be no. As I have not thought about it".


The Broken or Cracked record technique is, stick to your answer, stay calm and REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT. You do not have to do what others want you to do. You do not have to explain your answer. You do not have to satisfy others when it does not satisfy you.

Allow time for others to adjust

Using these approaches, when you have never done it before, will take time for others to adjust to your new way of saying exactly what is right for you, but very soon they will accept your first answer without questioning you and respect and support your right to assert your desires and wishes.

These assertive techniques will allow you to reach your goals whether you are changing your diet, quitting smoking, addressing an addiction it will serve to support your life choices.

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