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Assertive Behaviour

Most women in the west perceive women from Asia and other parts of the world as being submissive and believe that is the main reason some western men like such women. Being brought up in Africa, we are taught to respect other people and to be tolerant towards them without compromising our values, we are taught to be assertive.

It is surprising that even when the modern western woman sees herself being articulate and non-submissive she still suffers a great deal of self esteem and is very self-conscious of herself. I wonder what we would see if one day we are given
access inside every household.

This is a nice article about Assertive Behaviour I received by email and it is worth sharing: -


Assertiveness is the courage to be ourselves and show the world our likes and dislikes, our thoughts, feelings, and shortcomings in a polite manner. It's about communicating honestly with family, friends and colleagues.

As we become more assertive, we drop the mask and show our true selves. We proclaim: "This is who I am, this is what I feel, and these are my needs."

When faced with interpersonal problem, some people may feel inferior to others or fear their power. Under these conditions they are likely to suppress their feelings or openly rebel and strike out in anger. Neither response is truly productive.

The objective of assertiveness is to help people to develop effective ways of dealing with a variety of anxiety producing situations.

The Assertive Person, the Aggressive Person and the Passive/Aggressive Person

The Assertive Person

Assertive people have the following characteristics:

  • They feel free to express their feelings, thoughts, and desires.
  • They know their rights.
  • They have control over their anger. It does not mean that they repress this feeling. It means that they control it for a moment and then talk about it later in a logical way.
  • They have a good understanding of feelings of the person with whom they are communicating.

The Aggressive Person
  • Expresses point of view arrogantly, as if no other is possible.
  • Tends to dismiss or ignore the opinions and feelings of others.
  • Believes one's own needs are most important.
  • Feels powerful when dominating others, later guilty or remorseful as people draw away.
  • Example of assertive remark: "Anyone with any sense would know that's a ridiculous point of view."

The Passive/Aggressive Person
  • Agrees to others' demands, then avoids by making excuses, forgetting and being late.
  • Denies personal responsibility for their actions, uses accusatory statements.
  • Tries to get his/her own way by being manipulative
  • Fears rejection and confrontation.
  • Example: "Yes, I know I promised to meet you at 9.00, but Anthony kept me talking. I'm really sorry."

Behaviour Aspects

Assertive people are direct, honest and expressive. They feel confident, gain self respect, and make others feel valued.

Aggressive people may humiliate others, and unassertive people elicit either pity or scorn from others.

Assertive people know how to
  • Express their feelings,
  • Ask for favors,
  • Give and receive complements,
  • Request behaviour changes, and
  • Refuse unreasonable requests. 
    • Assertive responses are characterized by the use of ``I'' statements instead of ``You'' statements.
    • Assertive responses are usually effective in getting others to change or reinforce behavior.
    • Assertive responses run a low risk of hurting a relationship.
    • Assertive responses neither attack the other's self-esteem nor put him on the defensive.


      1. Zion Antoni said...:

        great survey dirishani...i never saw it this way..something to look at in social communication..esp. from the eastern and western world views..bless.

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