Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Stress Management: Reducing Stress by Being Assertive
Poor communication is one of the biggest causes of stress at work, school, and home. Being unable to talk about your needs, concerns, and frustrations can create stress. Being assertive helps you communicate without causing stress to yourself and others. Assertiveness is a skill that you can learn and put into practice.
In most cases, being assertive works better than being passive or aggressive. With passive communication, you may not express your opinions, feelings, and needs. With aggressive communication, you honestly state your opinions, feelings, and needs, but you do it at the expense of others.
To be more assertive, focus on what you say and how you say it. You can plan and practice how to be more assertive by following the steps and tips below.
To have a good experience carrying out an assertive discussion, it's helpful to do some preparation.
Body language is the way you sit or stand, move, and use your eyes and hands when you speak. Sometimes when you think you're speaking assertively, your body is sending a different message. That message can get in the way of what you are trying to say. Using the right body language helps you communicate more assertively. Try these five tips:
You'll be more comfortable if you practice these rules in front of a mirror or with a trusted person. When you practice, you can also hear your tone of voice.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerChristine R. Maldonado, PhD - Behavioral Health
Current as ofOctober 10, 2017
Current as of:
October 10, 2017
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Christine R. Maldonado, PhD - Behavioral Health
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2018 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.