Information for Preteens:
Communication & Assertiveness
Assertiveness is almost the opposite of shyness. There is also a fine line between being too assertive (or bold) or being just assertive enough.
It's important to be assertive so you can be heard and get your point across, but you don't want to come off as too aggressive.
If you are shy, it's important not only to overcome your shyness or social anxiety but to also become more assertive. An example of having too little assertiveness is not being able to say "no." It is important to be able to stand up for your rights and feelings, and saying no is part of this.
You can become more assertive by practicing the following:
- Talking clearly and loudly
- Talking to people you don't know very well
- Raising your hand in class more often
- Offering help without being asked
- Getting involved in more school activities, clubs, or teams
- Giving or accepting compliments
- If you are angry, start out by saying "I feel" – this way, you own up to your feelings and actions.
Teamwork is important but you can't let others push you around entirely and being too bossy isn't good either. You want to be able to be assertive and make your views and ideas heard but it's important to listen to other people's ideas, too.
Find a balance between being assertive and being a listener – it helps you and those around you.
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high school student writer
Reviewed by: Adolescent Interest Group
Last reviewed: August 2013