Being assertive means being direct about what you need, feel, or want in a manner that is respectful of others. It is a powerful communication skill that is paramount in reducing conflict and improving relationships. All of us would like to stand our ground with confidence and openly express our feelings, but it doesn’t always come easy. The line between being assertive and coming across as too strong or pushy can be hard to determine. You also don’t want to come off as weak or insecure.