Month: January 2012

Assertive, Aggressive, Passive or just Anxious? Part 1

Hilary Nunns 0 Comments

You know that feeling when you’ve walked away from a situation and thought “I wish I had said …..” or “I can’t believe I said…..”.  Even as adults we often find ourselves responding or commenting in a way which might seem out of character.  Sometimes we seem to float between aggressive, passive and assertive as we move into different areas of our lives.

For example, I tend to be rather passive in a restaurant.  But elsewhere I'm assertive. And occasionally I might be aggressive.  It's not ideal and I'm working on it!


We recognise aggression because the physical signs - shouting/swearing/raised voices – are frightening.  Aggression makes our pulses race whether delivering it or when on the receiving end of it.  It’s an explosively angry behaviour which can trigger from nowhere and lead to great distress.


If, on the other hand, your reactions to situations would be to become quiet and subdued...

6 signs that you’re being manipulated

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Manipulative behaviour

On the website the definition of manipulative behaviour is: ‘behaviour which attempts to control or play upon others' hopes or fears to attain selfish ends while disregarding their aspirations or well being’.

Young children can learn very early how to 'get their own way' by manipulating a situation.  For example, by crying, throwing tantrums, stamping feet, yelling, sulking.   We accept this as part of understanding boundaries and learning about right and wrong.

As adults we can also be inclined towards this behaviour in (possibly) more subtle ways to get our own way without using assertiveness skills.

Here are some outward signs of manipulative behaviour:

  • Jokey put-downs
  • Making people feel guilty
  • Gossiping
  • Being two-faced
  • Moodiness
  • Being inconsistent

Recognise anyone you know?

Your assertiveness and enquiring responses will soon squash the Manipulator into more honest behaviour.  Want to to know more? Call me on 07763942771 to discuss the Assertiveness...

Do’s and Don’ts of Assertive behaviour

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Making a request


  • Be direct and to the point
  • Give a reason for the request
  • Respect the other person’s right to say no


  •       Apologise
  •       Justify yourself
  •       Sell the request with flattery
  •       Take advantage of people’s good nature
  •       Take refusal personally

Saying No


  • Keep the reply brief and avoid rambling
  • Give a reason
  • Be honest about limitations/possibilities
  • Ask for more time to consider the request
  • Acknowledge the requester


  •       Keep apologising
  •       Feel guilty for saying no
  •       Invent excuses


Disagreeing/stating your views


  • State your disagreement clearly
  • Express doubts in a constructive way (not - “That won’t work” try – “Let’s see what other options there are”)
  • Use “I” statements to distinguish your opinion
  • Give reasons for your disagreement
  • Recognise other people’s point of view
  • Be open-minded and willing to listen


  •       Be angry or patronising
  •       Be sarcastic
  •       Sulk if others disagree!
Just contact us on 07763942771 to let us know what you need.