Assertive, Aggressive, Passive or just Anxious? Part 1

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

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

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!

Raising the Age in 2013

Do we appear to have our heads in the sand about the impact of 2013 on our colleges?  Particularly FE.  Or is it just me??

What I mean to say is, some of our less enthusiastic learners will soon be populating our colleges. What measures are being put in place to help teaching and support staff to manage these reluctant learners?

I’m definitely a ‘cup half-full’ kind of person and I do believe that continuing on in education and training post 16 will be a fantastic opportunity for our school-leavers.  They will gain new work and life skills, not just for the job market as we have always known it; it’s also a great opportunity to shape up for the new uncertain world which we are all having to adjust to.

But we have to get it right.  We can’t afford to lose sight of the burgeoning cost of supporting non-workers.  Our...

Behaviour – Why ME?

I remember precisely the moment when my mainstream classroom became an inclusive one.  And it caused a great deal of anguish.  I was informed by Additional Learning Support that one of my students would be bringing along a Learning Support Assistant due to the fact that he (the student) had no hands.  I was outraged – how was I supposed to teach ICT to someone with no hands?  I ranted on to the ALS manager but she told me I ought to see how the student progressed before making judgments.  Angry and confused about the consequences to my nice neat lesson plan, I argued and begged but she did not capitulate.  Who was I judging, me or the student?  As it transpired, the student was an Afghanistan refugee who was the victim of torture.  His hands (and some of his toes) had been removed as a consequence of being...

Just contact us on 07763942771 to let us know what you need.