When confronted with difficult
situations, people can sometimes
respond in two ways.
Passiveness may involve…
• Possibly respecting others’ rights while
ignoring your own rights.
• Not communicating directly when the
situation warrants it.
• Allowing others to “walk on” or control
• Allowing your boundaries
to be violated.
Aggressiveness may involve…
• Disrespecting others’ rights to retain
your own rights. Winning at all costs.
• Communicating sarcastically.
• Attacking the person instead of
focusing on the behavior or problem-
• Violating boundaries.
• Attempting to control
Ideal response is assertive response which
falls in between these two responses
WHAT IS ASSERTIVENESS?
• Respecting others’ rights as well as your
• Communicating effectively, directly, and
• Dealing with conflict effectively and calmly.
• Handling and receiving feedback effectively.
• Setting boundaries.
• Focus is on behavior and problem-solving
instead of attacking/ignoring the person.
Lack of assertiveness leads
with no control
over your life
anger at others
advantage of you
why did I let
can't tell each
other what they
stress can have
a negative impact
on the body
Unable to avoid
leads to anxiety.
Helps have better relations with others
Minimizes any unpleasantness
Makes you feel better about yourself
BENEFITS OF ASSERTIVENESS
Propels your career
Vaults you into leadership
Able to adapt to changing
Social and professional
Freedom from guilt conscience as
you know that you are right
Test your assertiveness
• Can you express negative feelings
about other people and their
behaviour without using abusive
• Are you able to exercise and express
• Can you easily recognize and
compliment other people’s
• Do you have confidence to ask
for what is rightfully yours?
• Can you accept criticism
without being defensive?
• Do you feel comfortable
• Are you able to stand up for
• Are you able to refuse unreasonable
requests from friends ,family or co-
• Can you comfortably start and carry
on a conversation with others?
• Do you ask for assistance when you
If the answer is yes to all these
questions then you are an assertive
TECHNIQUES TO BE ASSERTIVE
1.Creating self esteem.
2.Communication- your voice and
3.Communication- body language.
4.Persistency- broken record and
5.Handling criticism-fogging ,
negative assertion and negative
6. Handling praise-Positive enquiry.
Be comfortable with your
personality. Respect your own self.
Be conscious of your abilities.
Feel proud of your achievements.
CREATING SELF ESTEEM
Complete the following with
positive about personal quality,
attribute and achievement.
VOICE AND LANGUAGE
Use ‘I’ statement rather than
• Like : Restate: “You are so
egotistical and full of yourself
and your own ideas!” to “I would
like you to consider this idea.”
Use factual descriptions instead of
judgements and exaggerations.
Like: I noticed that you have not
spoken to me for last three days.
Use clear , direct requests or
directives when you want others
to do something, rather than
hinting, being indirect, or
Like: Will you please take this to
Express thoughts, feelings and
opinions reflecting ownership.
like: I believe matching the
competition is the best policy
Be respectful, realistic and honest.
Express preferences and priorities.
Express feelings honestly.
Say no politely and firmly.
THE ART OF SAYING
Passive NO – accompanied
by weak excuses and
Aggressive NO -
Done with contempt
Assertive NO - is
simple and direct
FOUR STEPS TO SAYING
Say no immediately - You do not need to justify your decision. If
you start doing so, you will prolong the conversation unnecessarily.
• Listen to the request - Make sure you
understand the request completely
before coming to a hasty conclusion.
Clarify if needed.
• Say no immediately - You do not
need to justify your decision. If
you start doing so, you will
prolong the conversation
• Give a reason for your refusal –
Without giving a reason, you may
come off as uncooperative or
hostile. A clear and honest reason.
• Offer to find an alternative – Let the
other party know that you will try to
help them but you are unable to
perform the entire request.
Don’t say "I can’t or I won’t be able
Don’t depersonalize feelings or
Don’t exaggerate, minimize, or use
Don’t agree unwillingly.
• Quiet, soft,
• Resonant, firm,
• Smooth, even,
• Laughter only
• Voice tones
• Loud or harsh or
• Biting off words
• Sarcastic laughter
• sound like orders.
NON ASSERTIVE ASSERTIVE AGGRESSIVE
• Shifting often
• Chin down
• Sitting: legs
• Erect and relaxed
• Few shifts
• Dead straight
• Sitting: legs
• Erect, tense ,rigid
• Shoulders back
• Jerky shifts
• Chin up
• Sitting: heels on
NON ASSERTIVE ASSERTIVE AGGRESSIVE
• Lifted eyebrows ,
• Nervous or
• Chewing lower
• show anger with
caring look, few
• Genuine smile
• Relaxed mouth
• Shows with
and serious look
• Furrowed brow,
• Sarcastic smile
• Tight jaw
• Shows with
scowl, very firm
Keeping arms and palms open
Maintaining eye contact
Placing feet flat on floor
Sitting with legs uncrossed
1.Repeat yourself again and
again and again, until the
person gives in or concedes
to your demands.
2. Most people capitulate after
you repeat yourself three times.
Because you just have to repeat yourself,
broken record is really easy to use.
Broken record is particularly
•Dealing with those in authority
•You are not getting what you are
•Dealing with people brighter or
more fluent than you
•The other person is likely to use
• When you feel that your self respect is not
in question, consider workable
• Can always bargain for material goals
provided self respect or feeling is not
• Example : I understand you need to talk
and I have to finish some work.so what
about meeting after one hour.
A skill that teaches acceptance of
manipulative criticism by calmly
acknowledging to your critic that
probably that there may be some
truth in what he says. Yet allows you
to remain your own judge of what
By refusing to be provoked you
remove it’s destructive power.
If someone says, “Your haircut
looks stupid,” you can respond
with, “You might be right.” They
might continue: “Didn’t you hear
me? You look like a looser.”
Respond by saying, “You might be
right, but it will grow back.”
A Negative Assertion is assertively
accepting a mistake that you have
made. When George Washington said,
“I’m sorry, Dad, I chopped down the
cherry tree,” he was making a negative
When it’s difficult for someone to say,
“I’m sorry,” they sometimes avoid the
negative assertion in a way that hurts
the other person: we can use following
“I’m sorry you feel that way
“I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings
I’m sorry I did it, but if you
hadn’t……then it never would have
Negative enquiry is a way to respond to more
negative exchanges such as receiving criticism.
Dealing with criticism can be difficult,
remember that any criticism received is just
Negative enquiry is used to find out more
about critical comments and is a good
alternative to more aggressive or angry
responses to criticism.
“That meal was practically inedible, I can't
remember the last time I ate something so awful”
“It wasn't the best, exactly what didn’t you like about
This is different from an aggressive response that
may have been:
"How dare you, I spent all afternoon preparing that
meal" or "Well that's the last time I cook for you"
• Positive enquiry is a simple technique for
handling positive comments such as praise
• People often struggle with responding to
praise and compliments, especially those
with lower self-esteem as they may feel
inadequate or that the positive comments are
• It is important to give positive feedback to
others when appropriate but also to react
appropriately to positive feedback that you
“You made an excellent meal tonight, it was
“Thanks. Yes, it was good. What did you
like about it in particular?”
This is different from a passive response
that may have been:
"It was no effort" or "It was just a standard
Listen- Understand, put yourself
in others shoes and ask for
Keep calm- deep breaths, take
your time, and allow others to
express their feelings.
Be prepared- Stick to the facts.
Compromise- try and find a
“win- win” situation.
Remember that just because
someone says something you
don’t have to believe it.
Put a stop to the put-down as
Choose to leave the situation. Be
open to negotiations and having
the ability to accept constructive
If you want a balanced personality,
learn to be assertive, express what
you think and feel in a positive way
and create mutual respect…
RAISE your words not your
voice. It is the rain that grows
flowers not thunder.
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