How to Assert Yourself in Your Relationship and Ask for What You Want

What is preventing you from asserting yourself with your partner and asking for what you want? Do you worry about being rude, pushy or having a confrontation?

What is preventing you from asserting yourself with your partner and asking for what you want? Do you worry about being rude, pushy or having a confrontation?

What Prevents You?

Think about the last three times you neglected to assert yourself and to voice your opinion or ask for what you want with your partner. Then ask yourself:

  • What was I thinking about just prior to wanting to ask for what I want?
  • How was I feeling at that time?
  • Were my thoughts and feelings positive or negative?

Write down everything that comes to mind around these three scenarios now. As you read through your replies to the above questions, what do you notice? Are there any beliefs holding you back from asserting yourself (eg. fear of confrontation, fear of expressing myself, not wanting to be pushy or rude, pleasing others, not deserving to have what I want, etc.)? In addition to addressing any of these limiting beliefs, it is important to have strategies so you can ask for what you want more easily.

Clarity is Key

Before you can ask for what you want, you need to be clear about that. In the absence of that clarity, you will find it difficult to know what to say and how to say it. Once you have that clarity, you will know what to say and how to say it. Think about your next conversation. What specifically would you like to say or ask your partner? Now, think about what you will say and how you will say it so that you achieve what have set out to do. How will you feel once you do that easily and successfully?

Which words will you use? Which tone of voice, facial expression, and posture will be most effective? Ensure that your tone of voice, words, facial expression and posture all match the message you wish to send. For example, avoid shaking your head as you say “yes” as that will send mixed messages to your partner. Avoid using a softly spoken tone of voice if you want to sound confident. Avoid slouching with your posture if you want to feel empowered.

Disagree with Tact

If the response you receive from your partner is one of disagreement with what you say, avoid disagreeing with them directly as this could end up in an argument. Instead, disagree with them with tact. In reply to them you could say “I appreciate your view and (put in your reply).” Notice that I have used the word “and” instead of “but”. If you say “I appreciate that but...”, on an unconscious level you are dismissing what the other person has just said, which could lead to a disagreement.

Asserting yourself and asking for what you want is now as easy as 1-2-3.

1. Identify and address any limiting beliefs that prevent you from being assertive and asking for what you want
2. Be clear about what you want to say or ask for
3. If you need to disagree with your partner, do it with tact.


Dr. Vesna Grubacevic is an author, speaker, media commentator, the founder and Performance Transformation Expert® with award-winning company, Qt. She is the creator of breakthrough behavioural change techniques, holds a PhD, a BEc and has over 35 years’ business experience. She is passionate about helping people to improve their relationships and confidence. Her Amazon best-selling book, Stop Sabotaging Your Confidence, has also been gifted to Hollywood and Australian award winners, nominees, hosts and celebrities. For more free resources on improving your relationships, please visit

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