If you’re an assertive woman, you should be proud of possessing these 14 traits

Gone are the days when women were just supposed to smile, be nice, and be accommodating.

Today, more and more women know what they want and are brave enough to pursue their goals.

They know that assertiveness is a powerful asset that they can cultivate and use for good.

If you’re an assertive woman, you know that your voice matters. And it needs to be heard. 

In this article, we’ll talk about the many traits that assertive women should be proud of. Learn more about why women must stand up, speak up, and fight for what they believe in. 

1) Self-awareness

Seeking the truth about who we really are and learning to value our authentic selves is key to being more assertive.

That’s why an assertive woman like you respects herself enough to express her true self.

This means maximizing strengths and improving weaknesses. It’s about accepting who you are and admitting what’s not-so-great about you, even if it’s difficult to do so.

You make it a habit to reflect on why you think, behave, and feel the way you do. You acknowledge, understand, and manage your emotions.

2) Confidence

Assertiveness also begins with believing in your worth. If you’re an assertive woman, you recognize your accomplishments, skills, and the value you bring to the table.

The way you sit, stand, talk, and handle yourself commands respect. You know what you want, and you don’t let other people make decisions for you.

You’re not afraid to speak up and share your thoughts and opinions. You’re bold enough to carve your own path to success.

3) Honesty and transparency

Do you communicate in a clear, direct, respectful, and sincere manner? Do you express your thoughts and feelings in a way that communicates your needs and intentions?

Do you ask for what you want? One of the key characteristics of an assertive woman is the ability to always tell the truth, even if it’s not easy.

In other words, you don’t beat around the bush or manipulate people. You use “I” statements and strong language to get your message across.

You’re always honest and upfront with your intentions. 

4) Active listening

Assertive women can effectively listen with compassion. What does it mean?

It means you give your full attention so you can accurately hear and understand the other person’s feelings, opinions, desires, and perspectives. 

You maintain eye contact and you don’t interrupt when the other person is talking. You’re tuned in to the present moment and you don’t pass judgment.

You clarify and ask thoughtful questions because you’re coming from a genuine place of wanting to understand the other person. 

5) Grace under pressure

Here’s a simple truth: Our character shows in the way we handle difficult people and difficult situations.

Do you crack under pressure? Or do you thrive?

For an assertive woman, it’s crucial to maintain a mature, rational, and pragmatic approach when things go wrong.

Of course, it’s easier said than done. It’s a skill that takes a lot of experience and practice.

But an assertive woman like you believes that how you respond to pressure is more under your control than you think.

You maintain composure when the stakes are high. You shift from a reactive to a proactive state of mind. That’s how you think clearly, act in a timely way, and get the right things done.

6) Saying “no”

An assertive woman like you never makes it a habit to say ‘yes’ to everything and everyone.  You don’t succumb to the pressure because you know it can lead to stress and confusion.

You set and maintain healthy boundaries to protect your time, priorities, and well-being. This means….

  • Identifying behaviors you’re ok with, and those that you find unacceptable
  • Being clear about what you need and value
  • Communicating your boundaries and letting others know when they’ve overstepped them
  • Respecting other people’s ‘no’
  • Politely but firmly reinforcing your boundaries when someone violates them

7) Leadership

Assertiveness is key to exceptional leadership. And for women leaders, it’s not about being bossy or pushy. 

It’s about creating a collaborative, inclusive environment where everyone can freely and safely participate and share their ideas.

You earn the trust of people when you give honest feedback in a way that encourages and guides people to success. 

You also accept constructive criticism. You keep an open mind and can admit when you’re wrong.

Most importantly, you’re a good example to your people because you model the changes you desire in others.

8) Communicating respectfully

What’s the difference between assertiveness and aggression? The first one is rooted in respect. 

The other one is based on dominance — expressing your rights and boundaries but deliberately belittling other people and ignoring their feelings.

As an assertive woman, you can disagree with others while still being warm and kind. Simply put, you respect other people’s opinions, rights, and boundaries.

You stand by your beliefs and values but you don’t threaten, insult, or degrade people whose views are different from yours.

9) Empathy

Think about this for a minute: Can you be empathetic and assertive at the same time?

I believe the answer is yes. You can be confident, firm, and self-assured while also being compassionate and kind. But how do assertive women like you strike a balance?

You do this by….

  • Validating other people’s perspectives and feelings, even if they’re different from yours
  • Fully feeling negative emotions but expressing them in healthy and responsible ways
  • Making sure that both parties feel heard and understood
  • Speaking up for yourself without overstepping others’ boundaries

10) Conflict resolution

If you’re an assertive woman, you know that you don’t always get what you want. But you’re always clear about what you need.

And it doesn’t stop there: You’re willing to compromise and create a win-win situation for everyone involved.

You know that aggressive behavior only makes matters worse. You respectfully work through confrontations and avoid getting defensive or raising your voice.

11) Decisiveness and independence

This goes back to our earlier point about how assertive women have confidence that comes from knowing what they want and where they want to go.

An assertive woman like you can make quick and effective decisions because you’re clear on your goals and your sense of purpose.

You don’t rely on other people for approval or validation. You make the right choices that have a positive impact. 

12) Resilience

Assertive women know the value of developing a growth mindset. That means you see failures as stepping stones to success. 

You acknowledge your shortcomings, learn from your mistakes, and bounce back from setbacks stronger than ever. 

You’re always willing to adapt to changes and try again. 

13) Risk-taking

Are you the type of woman who is fearless, who is not afraid to step outside of your comfort zone to reach your goals?

If so, then you should be proud of yourself for taking risks that enable you to grow and thrive.

With each new challenge and risk, you learn more about yourself and boost your self-esteem.

You open yourself up to opportunities that pay off in the long run. 

14) Self-advocacy

What can be more admirable than an assertive woman who always stands up for herself and what she believes in?

You communicate your needs, values, and beliefs clearly and with grace. You earn the respect and trust of people because you speak your mind without being aggressive.

Nothing can stop you from going after what you want. You’re a force to be reckoned with. 

Maria Fatima Reyes

Fat Niebres is a freelance writer who loves to chase stories that matter. She finds meaning and inspiration in the mundane. When she's not writing, she's probably reading, eating, traveling, or having deep conversations with her husband. She brings her experience in broadcast, print, and NGO communications, and has been published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer and Inquirer.net.

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