Passive, Aggressive or Assertive personality – Tips and Guidelines

Would you like to know where you fall on the behaviour spectrum? Does your response to events sometimes surprise you? Recognise and learn assertive behaviour and communication. Assertiveness can help you express yourself effectively and stand up for your point of view, while also respecting the rights and beliefs of others. Being assertive can also help boost your self-esteem and earn others’ respect.
  1. Notice if you say “I don’t know,” “I don’t care,” or “it doesn’t matter” when someone asks what you want. Practice saying what you’d prefer, especially on things that hardly matter. For example, if someone asks, “Would you like green or red?” you can say, “I’d prefer the green one — thanks.” 
  2. Practice asking for things. “Can you save me a seat?” This builds your skills and confidence for when you need to ask for something more important.
  3. Give your opinion. Say whether or not you liked a movie you saw and why.
  4. Find a role model who’s good at being assertive — not too passive and not too aggressive. See if you can imitate that person’s best qualities.
  5. Remind yourself that your ideas and opinions are as important as everyone else’s. Knowing this helps you be assertive. Assertiveness starts with an inner attitude of valuing yourself as much as you value others.
  6. When you disagree, try to say so without putting down the other person’s point of view. For example, instead of saying: “That’s a stupid idea,” try: “I don’t really like that idea.” Or instead of saying: “He’s such a jerk,” try: “I think he’s insensitive.”
  7. Notice where you’re best at being assertive. People behave differently in different situations. Many people find that it’s easy to be assertive in certain situations (like with friends) but more challenging in others (like with bosses or when meeting new people). In tough situations, try thinking, “What would I say to my close friends?”
  8. Notice if you interrupt. Catch yourself, and say: “Oh, sorry — go ahead!” and let the other person finish.
  9. Ask someone else’s opinion, then listen to the answer.
  10. When you speak assertively, it shows you believe in yourself. Building assertiveness is one step to becoming your best self, the person you want to be.