How to be assertive in a relationship is an essential communication skill that creates a healthy balance in the relationship.
The ability to be assertive is crucial in all relationships, but it’s especially important in romantic ones.
Speaking up for yourself, outlining your needs, and keeping your partner’s feelings and boundaries in mind while doing so are all aspects of how to be assertive in a relationship.
In this article, we’ll explore different ways of being assertive in a romantic relationship and the benefits that come with it.
How To Be Assertive In A Relationship
How to be assertive in a relationship is an essential skill that entails communicating your demands and desires while also respecting your partner’s feelings.
It entails expressing yourself clearly and concisely without being confrontational or passive.
Being assertive contributes to a good balance in the relationship, in which both yours and your partner’s demands are met.
For instance, if your partner frequently makes decisions without seeking your input, you can assertively express your desire to participate in decision-making.
Your partner will be more considerate going forward if they understand how their behaviour affects you.
You can practice how to be assertive in a relationship by taking small steps at a time.
You must understand that being assertive means that you have the right to express your feelings, opinions, and beliefs without fear of judgement or retaliation from your partner.
By doing this, you establish an environment where you and your partner can speak honestly and openly, which can strengthen your relationship and increase your mutual understanding.
For instance, Instead of holding your feelings inside and resenting your partner, you can assertively communicate how you feel and why it’s important to you in situations where you feel like your partner isn’t listening to you.
To have a better understanding of how to be assertive in a relationship, have a look at the following table, and note how passive, assertive and aggressive communication compares and contrasts.
Comparing and Contrasting Passive, Assertive, And Aggressive Communications In relationships
|Allowing others to interrupt
and talk over you.
|Speaking up and expressing
your thoughts and feelings in
a clear and respectful manner.
|Speaking loudly and interrupting
others to dominate the conversation.
|Avoiding conflict and confrontation,
even when it is necessary.
|Addressing conflict constructively, while respecting the needs and feelings of
|Attacking and blaming others,
rather than addressing the root issue.
|Apologizing excessively, even when you have done nothing
|Taking responsibility for your actions, apologizing when necessary, and respecting your own boundaries
|Refusing to take responsibility
for your actions and blaming
|Being overly selfless and always prioritizing others’ needs before your own.
|Asserting your own needs and setting
boundaries, while also respecting the
needs and boundaries of others
|Disregarding the needs and
boundaries of others in order
to get what you want
|Failing to speak up and
assert your boundaries
when they are crossed
|Asserting your boundaries and standing up for yourself when others overstep them
|Attacking and belittling others
when they cross your boundaries
|Ignoring your own wants
and needs in order to avoid
|Expressing your own wants and
needs, while also respecting the wants and needs of others
|Disregarding the wants and
needs of others in order to satisfy your own desires
|Agreeing with others, even
when you disagree, in order
to avoid conflict
|Expressing your own opinions and beliefs while being open to alternative perspectives.
|Insisting that your view is the only valid one, while dismissing the opinions and beliefs of others.
Table 1 above gives clarity on how to be assertive in a relationship, however, the distinction between assertive and aggressive expression should be made clear.
Aggression is the use of force or hostile behaviour to dominate others, whereas assertiveness entails standing up for oneself and expressing one’s needs and opinions in a clear and polite manner.
Assertive communication fosters positive interpersonal interactions, whereas passive and aggressive communication can result in resentment, misunderstanding, and conflict.
Video On How To Be Assertive
Watch the following video in which, Life and Relationships Coach Stephanie Lyn gives tips on how to be assertive in a relationship when you are dealing with a manipulative person, or someone with a strong personality (in a negative way.)
Coach Stephanie encourages taking action and testing yourself in certain environments and situations and teach people how you want to be treated by being assertive, expressing your feelings and setting boundaries so you do not attract manipulative people in your life.
She emphasise being clear, slow and calm when expressing oneself to avoid anger and emotion to take over.
As well as to ensure that it’s coming from a loving place, not only for the person you are communicating with but for yourself as well-Self love.
How to Be More Assertive in a Relationship
Gaining self-confidence in expressing your needs and wants will help you become more assertive.
It entails learning to set limits and feel confident saying “no” when it’s required.
If your partner routinely reschedules plans at the last minute, for instance, you might assertively state that you find this disrespectful and that you would like them to prioritise spending time with you.
By doing this, you may express your wants and set boundaries at the same time.
It’s important to be honest to yourself in your relationship. You develop more authenticity and self-assurance when you put your own needs and wants first.
Being more assertive in a relationship means that you have the freedom to be who you are, regardless of what your partner expects or desires.
You can assertively voice your opinion and reach a compromise that benefits both of you.
Let’s say your partner suggests that the family move to a bigger house, but you know that it’s not the right decision for you, you can assertively express your opinion and come to a compromise that works for both of you.
How to Be Assertive in a Relationship as a Man/Woman
While there may be societal and cultural factors that influence gendered patterns of behavior, it’s important to recognize that individuals within a romantic relationship can have a wide range of personalities, communication styles, and ways of expressing themselves.
Hence, a generalized notion that most men are aggressive, and most women are passive in relationships is not necessarily true.
Both men and women can exhibit assertive or aggressive behaviour in relationships, and both can also be passive at times.
Being able to express your demands and desires without coming across as harsh or domineering is a key component of being an assertive man or woman in a relationship.
It entails listening intently, honouring your partner’s sentiments, and being able to compromise where required.
In a relationship, being an assertive woman or man entails being able to express your needs and desires without coming across as submissive or overbearing.
Having self-expression and boundary-setting confidence are necessary.
For instance, if your spouse frequently cuts you off when you’re speaking, you can politely but firmly express your desire for them to respect your right to your own perspective and listen to you.
Setting reasonable expectations is crucial in any relationship because it creates limits and guarantees that your needs are met.
You have the right to make fair requests of your partner by being assertive without feeling guilty or humiliated about it.
For instance, you can assertively state your need for your partner to spend more time with you and develop a strategy to make that happen.
Related topic ==> unmet needs in a relationship
How to Be Assertive in a Controlling Relationship
How to be assertive in a relationship that is controlling can be challenging, It can be difficult, but it is essential for your well-being.
It entails establishing limits and speaking out for yourself without being pushy or submissive.
For instance, you can assertively explain that you value your privacy and would like your spouse to respect it if they are always looking at your phone and invading your personal space.
This allows you to respect your partner’s feelings while defining your own limitations and articulating your needs.
Setting your own priorities is critical in any relationship, especially a dominating one.
Being assertive implies that you have the right to prioritise your own wants and desires, as well as to say no when required.
For example, if your partner is controlling and wants you to spend all of your time with them, you can assertively convey that you need time for yourself and your own priorities without feeling guilty or humiliated.
How to Be Assertive In a Relationship Without Being Rude
Being assertive does not imply being impolite or disrespectful.
Being assertive in a relationship without being rude is being confident and clear in expressing yourself while respecting your partner’s feelings and beliefs.
For example, if your partner is constantly criticising your choices, you might assertively explain that you value their perspective but must ultimately make your own decisions.
With this approach, you can explain your requirements while also respecting your partner’s sentiments.
Here are some tips on how to be assertive in a relationship without being rude.
You can accept responsibility for your actions and feelings through an assessment of your own behaviour, thoughts, and emotions.
Being assertive entails taking responsibility for your own actions without blaming or criticising your partner and having the freedom to assess your own behaviour.
For instance, instead of blaming your partner for having a bad response, you may assertively accept responsibility for your words and apologise if you had said something possibly rude or offensive to them.
How to Be Assertive and Confident in a Relationship
Being assertive and confident in a relationship entails understanding your worth and expressing yourself clearly and concisely.
It entails being at ease with establishing limits and expressing “no” when necessary.
For example, if your partner is constantly asking you to do things for them, you might assertively explain that you need some time to yourself and that you expect them to respect your boundaries.
You can explain your requirements while also respecting your partner’s feelings and boundaries in this manner.
Setting assertiveness goals in a relationship can boost confidence, and is crucial for improving communication, deepening understanding and connection, and increasing overall relationship satisfaction.
Setting objectives allows you to focus on becoming more assertive and confident in expressing your wants and desires while also respecting your partner’s feelings and boundaries.
You can, for example, make a goal to express your needs more clearly, to actively listen to your partner, or to compromise where required.
Setbacks of Being Passive or Aggressive
In a relationship, being passive or aggressive might have bad implications. Because your needs are not being satisfied, being passive can lead to feelings of resentment and dissatisfaction.
It may also result in your spouse taking advantage of you and failing to respect your boundaries.
Being aggressive, on the other hand, might lead to confrontations and arguments, which can harm the relationship.
It might also make your partner feel attacked or defensive, making it difficult for them to listen to your needs and wishes.
Related topic==> Passive-aggressive behaviour
Benefits of Being Assertive in Romantic Relationships
Being assertive in a romantic relationship has many benefits.
It helps to create a healthy balance in the relationship where you and your partner’s needs are considered.
It promotes open and honest communication, which leads to a deeper understanding and connection between you.
Being assertive also helps to prevent resentment and frustration from building up, as you both express your needs and desires.
Additionally, being assertive in a relationship can improve self-esteem and confidence, as you are standing up for yourself and expressing your worth.
Assertiveness Goals vs Assertiveness Benefits Table
|Communicate needs and desires clearly
|Promotes open and honest communication
|Set boundaries and respect them
|Creates a healthy balance in the relationship
|Say “no” when necessary
|Prevents resentment and frustration
|Compromise where necessary
|Improves self-esteem and confidence
|Stand up for yourself
|Deepens understanding and connection
|Respect partner’s feelings and opinions
|Builds mutual respect and trust
|Express yourself in a clear and concise manner
|Enhances problem-solving skills
|Fosters emotional intimacy
|Communicate calmly and respectfully
|Reduces conflicts and arguments
|Acknowledge and apologise for mistakes
|Promotes forgiveness and understanding
|Prioritise your own well-being
|Improves overall relationship satisfaction
|Encourage your partner to communicate assertively
|Builds stronger and healthier relationships
|Set a good example for future relationships
|Increases personal growth and development
|Learn to handle criticism and rejection
|Develops resilience and emotional maturity
|Be open-minded and willing to compromise
|Encourages mutual growth and learning
We looked into how to be assertive in a relationship for different relationship circumstances.
In conclusion, being assertive in a romantic relationship is an essential skill that can help create a healthy and fulfilling relationship.
It involves communicating your needs and desires while respecting your partner’s feelings and boundaries.
By being assertive, you promote open and honest communication, deepen understanding and connection, and improve self-esteem and confidence.
It’s important to remember that being assertive does not mean being rude or aggressive.
Instead, it involves expressing yourself in a clear and concise manner while respecting your partner’s feelings and opinions.
By setting goals and practising assertiveness, you can enhance your relationship and create a strong and healthy relationship.