This Is How Assertive People Resolve Conflicts

From speaking in the first person, to clear and precise information and requests. Know what the characteristic elements of someone who is assertive are.
This Is How Assertive People Resolve Conflicts
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 06 June, 2024

Assertive people are neither submissive nor subservient, neither arrogant nor narcissistic. They are not disrespectful. And they’re very good at resolving conflicts and differences. They can skillfully defend their rights. They creatively relieve tensions and correct misunderstandings. The reason they keep their cool is that they can control their emotions.

We all know that assertiveness is the essential ingredient in good communication and good relationships. However, we often lack the wit, energy and resolve. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come ready-made from the store.

“Nor submission nor aggression. If the balance is ‘assertiveness.'”.
-Walter Riso-

Many of us find it hard to make what we think and what we do line up. Little by little, we store up so much frustration and discomfort that eventually we react in the worst possible way. Assertiveness is, above all, an exercise in personal dignity.

One of the most vital areas for assertiveness is relationship problems. Whether at a work or in your personal life, there always comes a time when you have to defend your opinions and even your own identity. Knowing how to handle it without falling into sycophancy or verbal aggression is a priority.


5 ways that assertive people resolve conflicts

Fear of hurting others. Not knowing how to express your anger or disagreement without using insults or sharp criticism. Fear of not having resources to get out of manipulation … These are just a few examples of things that erode your self-esteem by not being assertive and quick to react, not defending your rights.

It doesn’t happen overnight. However, assertiveness can be learned and trained. And we can only apply them effectively when we understand them. Let’s see below what strategies assertive people use to resolve conflicts.

1. Assertive people have a reason for living

We could call this dignity, self-esteem or self-love. All of us must be very clear about what really matters to us. We  must protect these things from wind and storm. These define us, they are our reason for living, and no one should violate them.

We have our values and nobody should trample on them. We have a story and no person should attack or ridicule it. And we have the right to an opinion, a passion, freedom, and coherence in our life. These things make up our reasons for being.

How assertive people resolve conflict.

2. Speaking in the first person without fear

We’re afraid of using the word “I” and expressing ourselves. “I think, I believe, It’s my opinion, I need“… When assertive people resolve their conflicts, they are not afraid to use the pronoun “I.” They do not hide it or dilute it.

Don’t be afraid to say things like: “I feel hurt, and although I understand your position, you must understand that I am offended by your attitude because you have not respected my rights. I think we can work things out between us if we speak with more honesty and respect…

3. They do not beat around the bush

When resolving problems and managing conflicts or misunderstandings, the last thing you should do is beat around the bush, making accusations, berating the other person, or only talking about how bad you feel.

You have to be direct, concise and constructive, like assertive people. To do this, focus on the problem: “I feel disappointed because you didn’t take my opinion into account. I think that if we are a team you need to communicate with me.”

4. Assertive people make clear, direct requests

Effective and assertive communication sometimes means making requests. They should guide the two people in conflict towards an agreement. It’s not enough just to say how you feel. Direct the dialogue or argument towards a constructive end. For example:

  • “I do not like being yelled at, it makes me feel bad. Next time, please use a less aggressive tone. Please communicate things to me in a normal tone of voice. “
  • “I feel disappointed because you didn’t tell me your idea. In the future I would you to keep me in mind. That way we can all work together”.

5. Accept that sometimes there may not be an agreement

Assertive people understand that in conflicts or misunderstandings, there is not always an end or an agreement between both parties. Often, the differences stay there, separating two positions, two attitudes, two behaviors.

This shouldn’t make you feel like there’s no use, nor should it make you more angry. Assertive people have good emotional management that allows them to accept this type of situation. At the end of the day, people cannot be forced to agree on everything and see things from the same perspective. The key is to know how to respect their perspectives.

If a conflict does not end well and the other person doesn’t want to propose solutions — maybe they even just insult you and make things worse — then keep your distance. Don’t fall into a dynamic that’s useless. Stay calm and get away from the issue.


Two people communicating.

We often hear that assertiveness is the middle ground between bowing down to and crushing your opponent. Assertive people get to know themselves a little more every day and therefore are more adept at defending themselves without attacking. They win creatively and they effectively solve everyday problems.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.