Improve your Assertiveness. Being assertive is an important communication skill which can reduce your levels of depression and anxiety and improve your self esteem. This information package is designed to provide you with some information about assertiveness – what it is, what stops us from being assertive and how to become more assertive. This information package is organised into modules that are designed to be worked through in sequence. We recommend that you complete one module before going on to the next. Each module includes information, worksheets, and suggested exercises or activities.
- Module 1: What is assertiveness?
This module introduces the concept of assertiveness, describes some myths about assertiveness, identifies reasons why we become unassertive, looks at the effects of not being assertive, and also what factors stop us from being assertive. It also gives you the chance to assess how assertive you are in a range of situations. PDF document: 184kb. Updated 14 November 2008.
- Module 2: How to recognise assertive behaviour
This module shows you how to recognise the differences between passive, aggressive and assertive communication and introduces the verbal and non-verbal characteristics of each communication style. PDF document: 151kb. Updated 14 November 2008.
- Module 3: How to think more assertively
This module introduces the concept that it is how we think that can stop us from being assertive. It identifies a number of unhelpful thoughts, and then gives the more assertive counterpart to this thought. It then introduces two techniques for changing your unhelpful thinking: thought diaries and behavioural experiments. PDF document: 164kb. Updated 14 November 2008.
- Module 5: Reducing physical tension
This module helps you to identify areas of physical tension in your body and introduces a number of techniques designed to help you reduce this tension and become more relaxed. PDF document: 154kb. Updated 14 November 2008.
- Module 6: How to say “no” assertively
This module examines the effects of not being able to say “no”. It identifies a number of unhelpful thoughts that may make it difficult for you to say “no” and helps you come up with a more helpful thinking style. It then introduces a number of ways to say “no”. PDF document: 153kb. Updated 14 November 2008.
- Module 7: How to deal assertively with criticism
This module identifies the different types of criticism and why we may have trouble responding well to criticism. It looks at the underlying beliefs which may stop us from being able to deal with criticism and helps you come up with a more helpful thinking style. It then gives some tips for dealing with criticism and also for giving constructive criticism. PDF document: 202kb. Updated 14 November 2008.
- Module 8: How to deal with disappointment assertively
This module helps you identify how you deal with disappointment and examine the unhelpful thinking that may be making it difficult for you to deal with disappointment. It then helps you come up with a more helpful thinking style to deal more assertively with disappointment. PDF document: 136kb. Updated 14 November 2008.
- Module 9: How to Give and Receive Compliments Assertively
This module addresses coping with compliments; it helps you recognise passive and aggressive responses to compliments and then helps you to develop more assertive responses by uncovering and challenging the unhelpful thoughts that make you uncomfortable with compliments. It then takes you through the steps for giving compliments appropriately. PDF document 107kb. Updated 24 May 2013.
- Module 10: Putting it all together
This module summarises the skills you have learnt so far. It then helps you build a hierarchy of challenges to help you practice to become more assertive. It provides a worksheet to help you work through the challenges you set for yourself. Finally it gives you a chance to reassess yourself to see if you have become more assertive. PDF document: 133kb. Updated 14 November 2008.