You have to ask for it if you want it. I know thatís a bold statement, so letís examine this million-dollar trait a little bit further.

OK, pick one of the three approaches that you would like to use in a conversation in which you have a strong opinion about the topic at hand.

Assertive communication lets you express your ideas, wants, and needs in a calm way.
Aggressive communication scares or threatens the other person to believe whatever you want. It can be rude and humiliating, but thatís the other personís problem.

Passive-aggressive communication is sly and snarky. Itís the friend that acts like a friend, but as soon as you head on out, they talk about you behind your back or sabotage any plans you have.

Now, pick one.

I know Iíve strung you along since, obviously, youíd pick assertive communication. But, a lot of people do not pick anything at all. By not picking anything, a majority of people fall into the aggressive or passive-aggressive behavior, and it doesnít help one bit, and to most people, it doesnít feel right either. The point is that theyíre not having their needs met.

Some people will say that theyíre afraid, itís scary, I donít want to look stupid, I donít have the right, etc. Others will say itís still scary as hell, but they do it no matter what. The point is to face your fear even if you feel threatened and worried, even if itís all in your head.

Here are some ideas thatíll help you grab a hold of assertive behavior.

Some people have no problem telling an employee theyíre doing a horrible job but that same person holds back when confronted in other situations. I know you wonít be assertive throughout life. Try to remember a couple of moments where you regret not saying anything at all. You must speak up in those situations.

We all have them, when itís stepped over, we say something. Assertive people know a little bit more than others, and they know it too. Create a list of the reasons that gets you to say something, for example: when people swear in front of your grandparents, talking rudely to your girlfriend, people who take advantage of others, when youíre lied to, and so on. Remember the times when something pops off, and use that courage to say something.

It will take dedication, focus, and practice. You canít have it all if you donít ask for it or even speak up in general. Now go, assert the world, but remember to speak from your heart.

"The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives." - Anthony Robbins