Communicating Assertively

The way you speak, the words you use, reflect your level of assertiveness. Learn how to communicate assertively.

The following are suggestions regarding the language of assertiveness.

  • "I" statements:
    I think...
    I feel...
    I want...
  • Statements of Personal Reference and Personal Meaning:
    "This is the way I see it"
    "In my opinion..."
    "This is how I feel"
    "This is what it means to me"
  • Statements of Request:
    "I" want...
    "I" need...
  • Statements offering compromise:
    "I" would like this...
    What would you like?
    "I" think...What do you think?
    "What would be an acceptable compromise?"
    "Can we work this out--What time is agreeable to you?"
  • Asking for time:
    "I'd like to discuss this in an hour"
    Taking time to think, know what you want to be different,
    thinking of compromise, etc.
  • Asking for clarification--instead of ASSUMING.
  • AVOID demanding and blaming statements:
    You make me...
    You think...
    You should/shouldn't...
    It's your fault...
    Don't you think...
    If only you would...

Specific Verbal Skills

  • "I" think statements
  • Broken record--repeating what you want, persistence
  • Acknowledge what other is saying, then repeat your view, opinion, need, etc.
  • Provide feedback--respond to what other person is saying

Language Formula

  • I feel--state your feeling
  • When (describe behavior)
  • Because (concrete effect or consequence on your situation)
  • I'd prefer (offer compromise)

APA Reference
Staff, H. (2021, December 24). Communicating Assertively, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 22 from

Last Updated: February 11, 2022

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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