Communicating with your partner in an honest, straightforward, and respectful way should be the norm.
Unfortunately, many people don’t do that. They either stay quiet, sugarcoat things, or go the other way and constantly complain and nitpick. Or have an overly aggressive way of dealing with things.
Luckily, this article will let you know whether you’re in a relationship with a highly assertive person or not.
1) They express their thoughts and feelings directly
Assertiveness 101: express your thoughts and feelings directly with respect to the person/partner.
Don’t you just hate it when someone pussyfoots around the topic and is afraid to tell you directly what bothers them?
If your partner articulates their thoughts, feelings, aspirations, dreams, and goals comfortably and respectfully, you know they’re highly assertive.
Here’s an example:
Jack and Jill are discussing potential career changes. Jack has been feeling unfulfilled in his current job and wants to explore different opportunities.
Recognizing the significance of open communication, Jill, as a highly assertive partner, expresses her thoughts directly.
She shares her concerns about the financial implications and the potential risks of changing careers.
By expressing her thoughts openly, she enables a constructive dialogue with Jack, allowing them to discuss their goals, fears, and aspirations.
Through direct communication, they can better understand each other’s perspectives and find a way to support one another in making informed decisions.
2) They’re comfortable making decisions and taking charge
Likewise, it’s another sign of assertiveness if they’re comfy making important decisions and taking charge of things.
The thing is, assertiveness comes naturally to some, while others need to learn and practice how to be assertive.
To be assertive, your partner must naturally lead, confidently making decisions and taking ownership of the relationship’s direction while respecting your intake and perspectives.
3) They set clear boundaries and expect them to be respected
For example, agreeing on how much time to spend together and apart, balancing individual hobbies, socializing, and quality time as a couple.
Some couples don’t have any boundaries they’ve agreed on, but they go by common sense.
4) They have a strong sense of purpose and actively work toward their goals
Apart from shared goals such as having kids and raising them into responsible adults, each partner should have their individual goals and aspirations.
A strong sense of purpose is extremely important to lead a content life. There are countless people out there who simply coast through life without meaning or direction.
Think about that for a moment.
I’m fascinated with Ikigai. It’s a Japanese concept that represents the intersection of four elements:
- What you love,
- What you are good at,
- What the world needs, and
- What you can be paid for.
It’s finding purpose and fulfillment by doing activities that bring joy, use your strengths, positively impact others, and provide financial stability.
5) They value their independence and encourage you to have your own as well
Highly assertive partners will appreciate and encourage their partner’s independence and uniqueness.
For that reason, if your partner understands the importance of maintaining personal interests and identity while encouraging you to pursue your own interests, they’re assertive too.
Here’s another example:
Emily and Mark have been in a committed relationship for several years. Emily is a highly assertive partner.
She actively encourages Mark to cultivate friendships and socialize with his friends. She recognizes that having a support network and engaging in activities outside the relationship will bring him joy, fulfillment, and new experiences.
She suggests that Mark goes out with his friends, attends social events, or partakes in activities or hobbies aligned with his interests.
For example, when Mark’s friends plan a weekend hiking trip, Emily enthusiastically encourages him to join them, knowing that he enjoys outdoor activities.
She reassures him she supports his time away with friends and believes it will strengthen their relationship.
Of course, Mark will also encourage his wife to take regular breaks and enjoy activities with her friends.
6) They often take the lead in various aspects of the relationship
Does your partner naturally assume leadership roles in your relationship? Do they offer you guidance, advice, and support while ensuring you collaborate?
For example, they take the lead in planning and organizing activities, trips, or special occasions like birthday parties or date nights, thinking about your preferences to create memorable experiences together.
Capable natural leaders are few and far between, so count yourself lucky to have such a valuable asset for a partner.
7) They approach challenges with a proactive and solution-oriented mindset
Having a good problem solver at home is also often very handy. Not only will they help you establish routines and schedules, track expenses, and identify and solve maintenance issues, but also help with solving annoying tech problems, budgeting, transport, etc.
They tackle challenges head-on while actively looking for solutions and taking action to overcome any and all obstacles in the home and the relationship.
8) They provide honest and constructive feedback to help you grow
Getting honest and constructive feedback from your partner is essential.
An assertive partner won’t hesitate to offer feedback and suggestions to help you grow. They’ll also provide you with support and guidance rather than criticism.
My wife has helped me in many situations with her constructive criticism but also unwavering support.
She’s always the one that pushes me to pursue my aspirations and complete my goals. With a stubborn mule that is her husband, that’s not always an easy task.
9) They’re confident and believe in their abilities
Highly assertive people believe in themselves and their abilities. They have a strong sense of self-confidence and believe their decisions and actions are correct and warranted.
They might not always be right, but that’s your problem and not theirs, is it?
All joking aside, being in a relationship with a highly assertive person can have its advantages, but there can also be downsides.
In some cases, they display dominant behaviors, which can lead to a power imbalance in the relationship.
Or their assertiveness sometimes comes across as aggressive or confrontational, leading to difficulties in communication.
10) They value honesty and expect the same level of transparency from you
Okay, so far, we’ve learned that assertive people appreciate honest and open communication. They’ll tell you what’s on their minds and what they want, need, and expect.
In turn, they also value when their partner also shares their true thoughts and feelings without reservation.
This two-way communication can only benefit your relationship and move it forward.
11) They trust their judgment and rarely second-guess themselves
I also noticed that highly assertive people have faith in their decision-making abilities and rarely doubt or question their choices.
They are less receptive to feedback or suggestions and assume their judgment is foolproof.
This can sometimes backfire and make them look stubborn or arrogant. So, it’s important to work with them to strike a balance between their trust in their own judgment and a willingness to consider input from you, their partner.
Of course, not every highly assertive person is like that, but it’s a behavior to keep an eye on.
12) They are skilled negotiators and can find common ground in conflicts
Does your partner deal with conflicts effectively? Can they find common ground and work towards solutions that satisfy both of you?
Negotiation is a great skill, even better if your partner has it.
It also means they approach conflicts with a level-headed and rational mindset and actively listen to your concerns, looking to gain a deeper understanding of the underlying issues.
Here’s a real-life example of how negotiation skills can help with a tense, albeit first-world problem.
A couple of years ago, my wife and I had clashing ideas about how to spend our vacation. My wife wanted an adventurous trip filled with hiking and outdoor activities, while I preferred a relaxing beach getaway.
Instead of letting the disagreement escalate, my wife, being highly assertive, suggested a compromise.
She proposed a destination that offers both hiking trails and a beautiful beach. By finding common ground and considering our preferences, we reached an agreement that satisfied both of us.
13) They genuinely value your perspective
Most highly assertive people will also genuinely listen to their partner, value their opinions and consider their perspective in discussions and decision-making.
They value the diversity of ideas and perspectives that their partner brings to the table, recognizing that it enriches the relationship and leads to mutual growth.
They understand that a relationship is a partnership. Thus they want to ensure that both partners have a voice and contribute to the choices that are made.
If your partner doesn’t value your thoughts and opinions, honestly, you’re in a one-sided relationship.
As you can see, many signs are showing you’re in a relationship with a highly assertive person.
And while being in a relationship with a highly assertive person can be rewarding, it’s important to maintain a balance of power and ensure that you meet both partners’ needs.