How Assertiveness Improves Communication Skills

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Teaching your teen how to behave in an assertive manner can be a beneficial life lesson that will serve your child throughout their life. Take a proactive approach to teaching and enhancing your teen’s communication skills.

Reasons Why Teens Benefit From Learning Assertiveness Skills

Here are ten great reasons why teens should learn assertiveness skills.

They're Less Likely to Be Bullied

A teen who is able to speak up and say, “Stop that,” or “I don’t like it when you do that,” is less likely to be victimized compared to a teen who remains silent.

It can be very difficult to stand up to a bully, but it can be very effective when it is done in an assertive manner.

Teens who are assertive can also stand up for peers who are being picked on.

They're Less Aggressive

If your teen understands how to ask for help or how to get their needs met, they are less likely to resort to verbal or physical aggression. Instead, they’ll be able to express their feelings in a more pro-social manner by using respectful words.

A child who can say, “Please stop doing that,” won’t have to hit someone to get their point across.

They Communicate Their Needs

Communication between peers, parents and authority figures are effective when a teen behaves assertively. Assertive communication reduces indirect communication, like asking someone else to pass along a message, and allows your teen to behave in a polite but direct manner.

It also ensures that a teen will talk directly to a person who offends them, rather than gossiping with friends about the issue.

They Have Healthier Relationships

Teens who can speak up when their feelings are hurt are likely to have healthier relationships.

Instead of allowing people to violate their rights, assertive teens can say, “I don’t like it when you do that,” which can help build mutual respect in a friendship or romantic relationship.

They Know How to Manage Their Stress

Developing an understanding of assertiveness skills can help reduce a teen’s stress level. For example, a teen who is willing to ask a teacher a question will be able to reduce the stress she experiences when they don’t understand the work.

Assertiveness skills help a teen proactively solve problems rather than passively allowing bad things to happen.

They Have Healthy Self-Esteem

Teens who speak up for themselves will feel more confident over time. And the more confident they feel, the more likely they are to behave assertively.

Teens who feel empowered to speak up will gain more and more confidence over time as they see how their behavior yields positive results.

They're Less Likely to Seek Revenge

When people behave passively, they often experience a lot of hurt and anger. This can lead them to later act out in a passive-aggressive manner. A teen who is bullied or picked on may secretly think about seeking revenge.

Teach your teen to behave assertively so they can address problems as they arise.

They Understand Emotions

Communicating assertively requires teens to stop and think about their feelings. This helps them develop a better understanding of their emotions over time.

As their emotional intelligence increases, it’s easier to develop strategies to cope with those emotions.

They Accept Personal Responsibility

Assertive teens can ask for help, say what they need and tell others how they’re feeling.

When teens can ask for what they want, they’re less likely to walk around blaming others for how they feel.

Instead, they understand that if they want something, it’s their responsibility to try and make it happen.

They Resist Peer Pressure

A teen who can speak up for themselves will be able to say no to something they don’t want. This means they are more likely to say no to sexual advances they aren’t comfortable with and they’ll be better equipped to resist peer pressure to use drugs or alcohol. 

2 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Avşar F, Ayaz Alkaya S. The effectiveness of assertiveness training for school-aged children on bullying and assertiveness levelJ Pediatr Nurs. 2017;36:186‐190. doi:10.1016/j.pedn.2017.06.020

  2. Omura M, Levett-Jones T, Stone TE. Evaluating the impact of an assertiveness communication training programme for Japanese nursing students: A quasi-experimental studyNurs Open. 2018;6(2):463‐472. doi:10.1002/nop2.228

By Amy Morin, LCSW
Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She's also a psychotherapist, an international bestselling author of books on mental strength and host of The Verywell Mind Podcast. She delivered one of the most popular TEDx talks of all time.