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5 Benefits of Asserting Your Needs—and How to Start Today


Anyone can learn the art of respectful assertiveness. If you have ever had to express your needs directly to another person, you know it can be hard to do. Our wishes aren’t always aligned with other persons, like when we ask for a refund for something we bought or try to end a conversation with someone who just won’t quit talking.

Asking for what we need is the principle behind assertiveness. The idea is often confused with aggression, as if being assertive means demanding that others give us what we want.

On the contrary, though, being assertive falls between being passive and being aggressive. It can be a fine line to walk but one worth practicing because of the greater benefits that come from greater assertiveness. Some of the many benefits of being assertive include:

  • LESS ANXIETY: Social anxiety improves with greater assertiveness; as we face our fears of upsetting others and let them know what we want and need, our fears diminish. In the process, we often discover we don’t get the upset reaction from the other person.

  • LESS DEPRESSION: Asking for what we need can lead to greater need fulfillment, which can lift our spirits. We also enjoy an enhanced sense of self-efficacy, boosting our view of ourselves and raising our mood.