How to Be More Assertive, According to Research

Though rarely discussed, assertiveness is at the crux of self-esteem and confidence. Without the ability to speak up for yourself, express your opinions, and set personal boundaries, you cannot build that essential self-respect that's an integral part of confidence. Those who struggle with assertiveness tend to put others' wants and needs ahead of their own and are often left with feelings of helplessness or discontent.

Rather than let you fall victim to passivity, Business Insider offered up some research-backed ways to build assertiveness without turning off the people around you—both at work and at home. Put simply, the writers emphasize the importance of being able to say no, respectfully asking for what you want and learning how to confront an issue head-on. Before embarking on any of these three tips, it's best to understand what assertiveness is really about: controlling your own behavior, not someone else's.

"When we behave assertively, we are able to acknowledge our own thoughts and wishes honestly, without the expectation that others will automatically give in to us," writes Randy J. Peterson, a Columbia professor of psychology, in his best-selling book, The Assertiveness Workbook. "We express respect for the feelings and opinions of others without necessarily adopting their opinions or doing what they expect or demand. Whenever we go along with others it is our decision to do so anyway."

For the full guide to assertiveness, head over to Business Insider, and share your personal experiences in the comments below.