In my classes, we often discuss how to be assertive rather than aggressive. According to the following article, “assertiveness trumps anxiety”. However, assertiveness is far more than an anti-anxiety technique. Dr. Bob Alberti tells us how to connect with others authentically, openly, warmly, and directly.


How to be Assertive – It’s Not What You Say. It’s How You Say It!

Thirteen top tips for asserting yourself effectively

A number of recent PT blog posts on the subject of being assertive make it sound as if assertiveness is all about what you say.  Various writers have offered lists of three or ten or eighteen “phrases” or “assertive responses” to use in expressing yourself. Helpful perhaps, but only part of the story.

In more than forty years of teaching, consulting, writing about and researching healthy elements of assertive expression, I’ve learned that it’s really not so much what you say as how you say it.

Think of it this way.  If I tell you that “you really look great today,” and say it while making eye contact and smiling and speaking in a friendly tone, you’ll likely take it as a compliment.  If I say the same words while rolling my eyes, shaking my head, scowling, and speaking with derisive inflections, you’ll know I’m being sarcastic and critical.

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