Assertive behavior is the direct expression, by the person, of his/her needs, preferences, emotions and opinions, without undue or excessive anxiety, nor hostility towards the other person. It is, in other words, behavior that allows one to defend one's rights without violation of the rights of others.

Some examples of assertive behavior are:

  • Self-affirmation: the ability to defend legitimate rights, to express personal positions, to make and reject requests;
  • Expression of positive feelings: the ability to initiate and maintain conversations, to make and receive compliments, to express affection;
  • Expression of negative feelings: the ability to establish limits, to make and receive criticism, to express legitimate negative affect. The expression of negative affect (such as anger) is, for some people, the most problematic situation.