How to be Assertive vs. Rude

How to be Assertive vs. Rude

Speaking up or standing up for yourself is a challenging task. For some people being assertive comes across being rude. First, we need to understand the difference between being assertive and being rude. Being assertive simply means the ability to express your point of view effectively and without disrespecting the rights and beliefs of others. On the other hand being rude means disrespecting other people, his rights, his views, and even his beliefs. Rudeness can be characterized by sarcasm, anger, verbal abuse, and intimidation.

Read more: 7 ways to be authentic to yourself

pexels-photo-3620431 How to be Assertive vs. Rude

There is a huge difference between both but still, people mistakenly take assertiveness as rudeness. Assertiveness is being confident without being aggressive. It requires a lot of courage to confront someone but when it’s the time to do that there are many ways of doing it without being rude. Some of these ways are:

Respect Feelings

When you respect the feelings of others then you can express your feelings without being rude and aggressive. You can have a say in any matter in a way that is assertive rather than mean or rude. It is really important to always maintain a level of respect by keeping in mind other person’s views and feelings.

Explain how you feel calmly

You can explain how you feel and what you need calmly. Standing up or speaking up for you never meant that you need to raise your voice, you can always convey your thoughts and opinion in a calm posture and tone. 

Body Language

Speaking is not the only way of communication. We can also communicate through our body language. How you present your position has an impact on the way it is received by others. Somebody language techniques include making eye contact, standing or sitting with a good posture, keeping your body calmed and relaxed, and speaking with appropriate tone and volume of voice. 

Set Boundaries

Having clear boundaries in mind is really helpful.  You should know what you are willing to do and should be able to identify when you are going too far or crossing the line. If you have a clear understanding of your boundaries then you won’t be needing to search them in a stressful situation.


Being straightforward is really hard. It is difficult to simply tell the other person what you want. You might think that it is really rude to say what you are thinking but in reality, it is not at all rude.

Usually, introverts or nice people are passive, and when they need to be assertive the just sugar coats their position which is an ineffective way as it makes you seem bendable and easily pushable. Projecting self-awareness and inner strength help in this matter. It does not depict you being rude but instead shows that you value your self-respect.

Do Homework

If you are being assertive by making a request you will feel a lot more confident and less aggressive if you can back it up with facts and reasons when challenged. Always do your research or homework for example if you want a pay raise do prepare the case by knowing why you deserve one.

Taking Timeout

Some people have the tendency of becoming more aggressive or frustrated under challenging situations. If you are one of them then try dealing with such a situation when you are calmer. 

Accusing people

Avoid accusing people. Reacting by blaming others is of no use as most likely you come out being aggressive which may hurt others. So whenever you are trying to be assertive in such a situation try not blaming others when you are not sure about something.

Own your feelings

Being assertive means owning your feelings and not apologizing for your opinions. You do not need to say sorry for what you feel and it does not count on being rude. It totally depends on the way you are expressing those feelings.

Stress Management

Try managing your stress. When someone is stressed he’s not in control of a situation. Being stressed influences the way you respond in a particular situation. So if you are stressed then there’s a more chance of you being rude than being assertive.

Read more: 5 ways to stand up for yourself

It is not easy to deal with confrontation and even the calmest person can lose control of his emotions if they are not being treated fairly. But understanding that blowing your top is not the way of being assertive. The challenge is to stand up for yourself without being rude. You need to know what rudeness looks like. Rudeness includes yelling, abusing, making threats, or intimidating so whenever one is trying to be assertive he needs to make sure that he is not showing characteristics of being rude.

Assertive people keep check on their anger and he will speak up being respectful yet being powerful instead of lashing out. We all should work on ourselves and if we are successful in mustering up the courage to stand up for ourselves then we really need to try our best that we draw a fair line between assertiveness and rudeness.

Read more:

How to be authentic to yourself?

How to overcome the victim mentality?

How to empathize with others when you are yourself hurting?

Are you a disposable friend? How not to be one.

9 Warning signs you are being abused emotionally

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