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Being assertive, that is sticking up for yourself, is important in all aspects of your life, not only for intimate relationships. Learning to be more assertive will help you feel better about yourself and also help you avoid involvement in negative situations. Here are some tips on becoming more assertive:

  1. State Your Position.
    Tell the other person or group how you feel about something. When asked to be involved in something, give a verbal answer. By giving a verbal answer instead of just a shrug, people won't assume you'll go along with an idea. Whenever possible use an 'I' statement.
  2. Offer a Reason or Explanation.
    Tell the group or individual the reason for your position or feelings; this helps people to understand where you are coming from.
  3. Treat Others Like You Would Like to Be Treated.
    Let the other person or group know that you understand their viewpoint and that you would like that same respect from them. Also support other people who assert themselves.

Asserting yourself can be challenging; there are many non-verbal skills you can use to help get your view across, including:

  • Loudness of Your Voice
    Don’t whisper or mumble your response, speak with a strong confident tone of voice.
  • Eye Contact
    Don’t look away from the person you are speaking to, look directly into their eyes.
  • Facial Expression
    Be certain that your facial expressions are saying what you are saying – don’t smile if you are telling someone you are angry.
  • Distance
    Keep the right distance from the person or people you are talking to. If you are saying that you need to leave stand away from the individual; or if you are being warm and affectionate stand closer.