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How To Assert Yourself

Prepare Before The Meeting Or Phone Conversation.

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Decide what you want.

Educate yourself about the subject, at least so you have a speaking knowledge of the matter under discussion.

  • The more you know about a subject, the less intimidating the other person is. This doesn't mean you have to become an expert.
  • The person you're dealing with may welcome and learn from your acquired knowledge and expression of it.

Be realistic. It doesn't help to ask people for things they are unable to give.

Think about what you want to say and the words that clearly express what you want. You can either write down the words that you want to memorize, or outline your ideas and leave room for improvisation. Experts generally suggest you start the discussion by saying something that shows your understanding of the other person's situation or feelings (it lets the person know you're not trying to pick a fight).

  • For example, if you're seeing a doctor, consider saying something like: "I understand that you are busy. However, I want to make sure you understand my symptoms and that I learn everything you can teach me about my condition and care."
  • "I am not a doctor or a medical expert and need you to explain what you've found and what you're suggesting in language I can understand."
  • Use facts or your personal feelings - not judgments. 

Think about what to say if you meet resistance to giving you what you need.


  • Practice saying what you want with a friend or family member.
  • Ask him or her to pretend to be the other person who at times agrees with what you want, and at other times disagrees.
  • This is not play acting. You're not rehearsing a scene. You're rehearsing for real life.You don't have to pretend to be someone other than who you are. Just be yourself - that is, the more assertive version of yourself.

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