Assertiveness can be defined as a form of communication in which an individual's wishes or needs are expressed very clearly in accordance with the interaction of another individual. The opposite of it is passive communication, wherein the wishes or needs are not clearly stated. Another form of communication is aggressive communication, where the wishes or needs are overstated, usually in a defensive or demanding manner. Of all these, assertiveness tends towards the positive approach. This pattern of behavior helps in stress management and to be an open and approachable person.
There are two main components of being assertive. They are possessing the skills and the techniques. The former means having a positive approach to other people's problems and being a good listener, whereas the latter refers to being assertive in your own life and battling criticism, failure, and rejection.
In this technique, you choose to agree with your critic and clear the fog created by revenge and negative thoughts. When you are criticized by someone, simply agree with the person by saying "Yes". When you do so, your critic will know that you are not someone who responds to a verbal argument and will dissolve the conversation by changing the topic.
Broken Record Technique
This is not a very easy option but can be very effective. Here, you have to very clearly state your wants and needs once, and if the other individual is negative towards your demands, keep repeating it several times. But remember, the only disadvantage is that the effectiveness decreases the more you repeat.
When you are listening to somebody else speaking, it is very important to be interested in it. To express your interest, you can make repeated comments like, "If this is what you are saying,...alright...now I get your point." or "...Is this what you are trying to explain?". This will create an awareness among the other listeners and give an assurance to the speaker that he/she is being understood.
There are many other techniques which can be included to change your own approach towards your life and others. These are physical postures--like standing and sitting up straight when you are presenting something to another individual or a crowd, speaking to someone, or simply working and performing your daily duties, among other things.
When you speak and move around, your words and gestures should be very clear and appropriate, as people judge you by the way you carry yourself. Maintaining eye contact with people while speaking is a very important quality. The tone of your voice should be clear, apt, and audible.
Self-evaluation is the best way to build a positive approach, because your self opinion will shape your life greatly.