Setting Boundaries through Assertive Communication

October 24th, 2023 ANGEL TANG, AMFT
Setting boundaries using assertive communication is crucial for maintaining healthy relationships and increasing psychological well-being. By learning to communicate assertively, you communicate your needs, limits, and expectations while respecting the boundaries of others. Read on to learn 3 tips below to work toward assertive communication.

assertive communication


1.  Look inward 

Assertive communication starts with self-awareness, especially around your emotions. As you may have learned from my previous posts, it is perfectly normal to have emotions – positive ones, AND negative ones.

By identifying and naming your feelings for yourself – embarrassed, unheard, lonely, overwhelmed, angry, you can validate your own experiences in the type of communication you have right now with the person. Then when you share your emotions with the other person in a kind and compassionate way, without attacking, you show the other person your authenticity. If you’ve ever talked with someone who said one thing and did another, you might know how upsetting it can be, and begin to feel distrust of this person. 

In your communication with others, you want them to feel connected with you. Being true to your emotions and having a good connection to yourself is one of the most important components to assertiveness!

2. Know your goals and needs

By thinking through your needs, check in with yourself. Be clear and specific with yourself about what you want, (sometimes it helps to have notes), so you can clearly and assertively communicate with others regarding your needs or goals.

Or to ask them to help you achieve your needs and goals. In other words, know for yourself “What is my goal in talking to this person?” 


3. Use “I, We, and Us”

With compassion and kindness!

In your assertive communication with others, remember to respect others’ boundaries as well by using compassion and kindness in your statements. This helps maintain trust and invites a collaborative effort on their end in the conversation. 

This means, NO ATTACKING and not using accusatory sentences such as “you always…” or “have you ever…” 

You are modeling positive and assertive communication with others so they can maintain genuine communication with you.


Sometimes they may not be ready…

Read the room, and respect their emotional boundaries.

You may do a lot of preparation to try to set your own communication boundaries and practice assertiveness, but the other person you want to engage with in not ready. This may sound like…

  • Not respecting your communication boundaries (yelling, name calling, “you” statements)
  • Not practicing kindness and compassion in their dialogs with you
  • Not waiting their turn to talk

In these instances, know that YOU get to continue sticking to your assertive communication boundaries, and be consistent. This communicates that you are serious about your boundaries, and that you will not engage in connection with them without them respecting your boundaries.

These are only a few tips about assertive communication. Because this is such an important topic relating to everyone’s psychological safety and wellbeing, I will honor this theme and return to this topic in a later blog post!


It takes vulnerability and genuineness to have positive relationships with someone, and being authentic with your emotions is one major step toward assertive communication!


I hope you got some ideas and entertainment through this post. This post is not a replacement for receiving professional mental health help through mental health professionals. If you are struggling with mental health issues, persistent anxiety, or other psychological illness, please seek professional psychotherapy. I would be happy to help! A free consultation is a call away.



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