Assertiveness Expressing How You Truly Feel

Emotions are a vital component in our lives. They’re the feelings that guide how we connect with others and build relationships. Whether it’s sharing laughter with friends or comforting someone in need, emotions shape the way we interact and understand each other.

Without them, life would be dull and relationships wouldn’t have the same depth. Emotions are responsible for adding layers to our experiences, transforming ordinary moments into something that we’ll hold onto for the rest of our lives.

However, no matter how great emotions are, they can cause big problems when misunderstood. Misinterpretation or mismanagement of emotions when you are attempting to assert yourself can lead to misunderstandings, conflicts, and hurt feelings.

How can you practice assertiveness when it comes to expressing how you truly feel?


Navigating the maze of emotions

It’s like a puzzle missing its pieces; without clear communication and understanding, relationships can become strained and fragile. Learning to navigate our emotions and those of others is like learning to steer a ship through stormy waters—it requires patience, empathy, and sometimes, a willingness to seek guidance.

Assertiveness is a learned skill, and because most of us learn to communicate aggressively to feel heard and to get what we need when we are very young, it can be quite difficult to unlearn poor communication habits, and to rewire yourself to express yourself with calm, powerful assertiveness. By acknowledging the power of emotions and actively working to understand them, we can build healthier relationships and strengthen connections with those around us.

Let’s take a look at some ways to express yourself assertively without coming across in a way that causes issues and has the desired outcome in meeting your needs, and the needs of those around you.


Know your feelings

The first step is always having awareness of what goes on internally. Before you’re able to assert yourself, you should first take time to identify and understand your emotions. These can be complex and layered so naming them should be able to guide you on your journey.

Knowing your triggers can also be a good starting point as you’ll have a point of reflection about things, situations, or even people that tend to evoke certain feelings. It is important that you regularly engage in self-reflection to deepen your understanding of your emotions and behavioral patterns. Set aside time to journal, meditate, or engage in introspective activities that allow you to explore your inner world.

Ask yourself probing questions about your emotions, reactions, and underlying needs. By continuously reflecting on your experiences, you gain valuable insights into yourself and develop greater emotional intelligence, which is essential for assertiveness and personal growth.


Be direct and authentic

Once you’ve identified what you’re feeling, the next step is directly communicating it to the other party. There’s no need for you to beat around the bush as this can cause more uncertainty, which can potentially strain your relationship. When you express your feelings directly, you provide the other person with a clear understanding of your thoughts and emotions, eliminating potential confusion or ambiguity.


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There’s also another layer of authenticity, which cultivates honesty and transparency. Being genuine allows for deeper and more trustworthy connections with others. By expressing yourself honestly and openly, you invite others to do the same, creating an environment where genuine dialogue and mutual understanding can flourish. Authentic connections are built on a foundation of trust, vulnerability, and acceptance, enabling individuals to feel seen, heard, and valued in their relationships.

Additionally, being genuine in your communication promotes emotional intimacy and closeness. When you express your true feelings, you invite the other person to connect with you on a deeper level, fostering empathy, compassion, and mutual support. Authenticity strengthens the bond between individuals, fostering a sense of belonging and emotional security in their relationships.


Use “I” statements

This is a powerful communication technique that promotes ownership of one’s emotions and enables one to express themselves more assertively and respectfully. “I” statements are all about personal responsibility. They put the focus on the speaker, rather than attributing them to someone else’s actions. By starting sentences with “I feel…” or “I am…” individuals acknowledge that their feelings are their own and are not necessarily caused by external factors. This ownership promotes self-awareness and accountability in communication.

“I” statements also help provide clarity and distinctness as these point toward specific circumstances of the speaker. These can provide context on their personal triggers and what sets them off. For example, saying “I feel frustrated when…” or “I feel hurt because…” helps the listener understand the source of the emotion and facilitates problem-solving or resolution.

Moreover, this also encourages more problem-solving behaviors. Instead of getting caught up in assigning blame or engaging in defensive reactions, individuals can collaboratively address the underlying issues that contribute to their emotions. This constructive approach promotes understanding, compromise, and resolution of conflicts.


Set boundaries

assertiveness - setting boundariesIn everything that you do, setting boundaries is a crucial act. This helps you identify which behavior is acceptable and what isn’t. Being assertive also means protecting your feelings and needs.

The article by Jo Nash (2018) elaborates on the importance of boundaries in relationships. “Setting healthy boundaries requires self-awareness. We need to be clear about our expectations of ourselves and others, and what we are and are not comfortable with in specific situations. Setting healthy boundaries requires good communication skills that convey assertiveness and clarity.”

She adds that assertiveness encompasses openly and respectfully communicating your emotions without making demands, yet necessitates attentive listening from others. Establishing healthy boundaries involves advocating for your needs and priorities as a means of self-preservation.

Overall, setting boundaries is a powerful tool for expressing what you truly feel because it enables you to communicate your emotions, needs, and limits effectively, leading to healthier and more fulfilling relationships.


Be open to compromise

All feelings are valid, but some behaviors are not. Being able to express yourself and have open communication with someone could also entail changes in certain behaviors. Open communication isn’t just about sharing your emotions; it also involves actively listening to and respecting the perspectives of others.

This means being willing to engage in constructive dialogue and, when necessary, making adjustments to your behavior to ensure that communication remains respectful and productive.

Remember, being entitled to your feelings does not give you a free pass to take it out on others or be uncritical of your emotions. You must navigate these responsibly, considering the impact they have on others. This entails a level of self-awareness and accountability, wherein one evaluates whether their behavior aligns with constructive communication and mutual respect.


Seek support if needed

support to increase your assertivenessLearning how to express emotions can be quite a journey, and this can be particularly difficult especially if you’re used to bottling your emotions up or shrugging them off. Often, people find it difficult to articulate their feelings, especially if they’ve grown accustomed to suppressing or ignoring them.

This reluctance to express emotions may stem from past experiences of how others have reacted to their feelings. Fear of judgment, rejection, and misunderstanding are some of the reasons why people hesitate to open up emotionally. And while it is easier said than done, there are ways to break free from this cycle.

Support can come in many forms. One way is to take assertiveness classes or online courses to learn and practice these skills in private while you build some calm and confidence with this new way of relating. Another is reaching out to the people around you and allowing yourself to be vulnerable to them. It can be as simple as talking to a trusted friend or family member, as these individuals can provide empathy, validation, and guidance in navigating complex emotions.

Seeking the support of a mental health professional, a life coach can be a great decision especially if you don’t have a close support network or don’t feel overly comfortable sharing too much with those who know you.



Ultimately, expressing how you feel is not just about communication, but also preserving the authenticity of yourself. Your emotions, thoughts, and beliefs are the essence of who you are, and expressing them genuinely means honoring your truth. Learning the skills of assertive communication and seeking out a safe space, it’ll be easier for you to find the courage to open yourself up and share how you feel in a manner that serves you and others leading to the best outcomes for everyone.

So take it upon yourself to level up your emotional intelligence and communication skills, and don’t hold back how you truly feel!



About Author:
Paul Jenkin | Life Coach & Somatic Facilitator
With 26 years of experience in alternative health and personal development, Paul coaches entrepreneurs and creatives to let go of limiting programming and empower themselves to reach greater levels of personal freedom, peace and success.

Author of ‘Powerful Manifestation Secrets’– he enjoys sharing information about a whole range of topics from LOA, optimal health, emotional intelligence, self-sovereignty and business. Schedule a 1-hr Expansion Call Today!






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