Assertiveness Skills

An assertive person is one who states their needs, wants, feelings, opinions or beliefs in a clear, direct, specific, honest and loving way and not at the expense of others.

  1. To save time, assertive people are honest with themselves and with others.
  2. They are confident and positive.
  3. They seek to understand other people, rather than trying to get others to understand them.
  4. They behave in a rational adult way.
  5. They negotiate and reach workable compromises in most difficult situations.
  6. They oversee how they think, feel, speak and act.
  7. They are always able to say "yes" or "no" without feeling ashamed or guilty and without justifying their answers.

Above all, being assertive means to love your neighbour as you love yourself and doing to others as you would have them do to you.


Passive, aggressive, paralysis and assertive are the only life positions from which we communicate to other people. Of the four life positions listed below, where do you spend most of your time? Or in other words, where do you live?

"The four life positions."

One delegate puts it this way, "I live at Aggressive Street but from time to time I go to visit Passive and Assertive Streets." Another delegate said, "I spend most of my time and life being passive but on occasions I get aggressive and feel in a state of paralysis." "90% of the time when I communicate with others I am aggressive", said another delegate. What about you? To be passive, aggressive or in paralysis, will waste your time, life and that of others. I care about you.

Passive People

  • Believe that others are better than themselves.
  • Do not get straight to the point.
  • Are shy, easy to "give up" and surrender.
  • Spend time feeling inadequate and being depressed.
  • Are the perfect target for an aggressive person.
  • Often find themselves saying, "I am sorry, please help me."
  • Use the common phrase: "You're ok, I'm not ok."

Fig 4.4 "Passive person under pressure from aggressive person."

One of the most difficult things for a passive person to do is to get straight to the point. They spend much time beating around the bush and living within themselves. They also find it difficult to say how they feel, thereby adding to things already stored up inside. They often find it extremely painful and difficult to be around other people and are the perfect target for the aggressive person, as seen in Fig 4.4.

Aggressive People

  • Believe that they are better than others.
  • Are autocratic and bossy.
  • Find it hard to trust and listen to others.
  • Spend time telling off others and finding faults.
  • Are often very frustrated and unhappy.
  • Have only a few friends.
  • Do not know how to cope with an assertive person.
  • Use the common phrase: "I'm ok, you're not ok."

"Aggressive person in assertive clothing."

Beware of aggressive people who come to you disguised as an assertive person. They appear to be assertive on the outside but inwardly they are ravening wolves dressed in sheep's clothing. "They will tear you apart." An assertive person is assertive outwardly and inwardly but an aggressive person can be assertive outwardly and at the same time be aggressive inwardly. How will you know such an aggressive person? It is actually very easy. Let me explain.

"You can detect them by the way they act, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit. You need never confuse grapevines with thorn bushes, or figs with thistles. Different kinds of fruit trees can quickly be identified by examining their fruit. A variety that produces delicious fruit never produces an inedible kind. And a tree producing an inedible kind can't produce what is good. So the trees having the inedible fruit are chopped down and thrown on the fire. Yes, the way to identify a tree or a person is by the kind of fruit produced. Not all who talk like godly people are godly" A tree that produces oranges cannot produce grapes.

You are not assertive because you only look assertive, but your motive and action must be brought into question. If you are hurtful, manipulative, make people feel guilty, lie or use conniving means, then you are not assertive, you are aggressive!

Paralysis People

  • Do not believe in themselves or in others.
  • Often feel suicidal.
  • Spend time complaining, withdrawn, depressed and feel a sense of total hopelessness.
  • Do nothing constructive with their time and life.
  • Believe the world will end soon, "so why bother".
  • Use the common phrase: "I'm not ok, you're not ok."

"Why bother."

The state of paralysis is for me the worst life position to be in. It is the inability to function properly because of psychological injury or sickness. Psychological injury can occur due to the death of a loved one or any other similar situation. This person has given up on life, the community and others. They feel that no one loves or cares for them, even though they are told, "I love you." They are easily affected by their surrounding circumstances because of the negative way they view their lives.

Assertive People

  • Love people.
  • Are friendly, honest and peaceable.
  • Find it easy to trust and get on with others.
  • Spend time enjoying their life, work, friends and family.
  • Are often very happy, pleasant and fun to be with.
  • Have lots of friends and are very understanding.
  • Are the life of the party.
  • Use the common phrase: "I'm ok, you're ok."

"An assertive person."

Assertiveness is the only life position that enables effective team work, open communication, learning, freedom and togetherness. Yet it is the most difficult life position to master. Most women who are assertive are often mistaken for being aggressive. This is because most men in my experience prefer women to be passive, in order to maintain control. When you are assertive you are able to stand up for your rights. Women who are assertive can be threatening to some men.

How Do You Think, Feel and Act When:

  1. Your spouse shouts at you?
  2. You catch your child stealing or lying?
  3. You come in contact with the person who hurt your family?
  4. A bus driver drives past you deliberately?
  5. Your best friend shares your secrets with others?
  6. A loved one dies?
  7. You are treated unfairly because of your colour, sex or disability?
  8. Your neighbour plays the music too loud?
  9. Someone criticises you, your child or someone you love dearly?
  10. The shop keeper will not give you a refund?

Your response to any of the above ten situations will fall within one of the four life positions. Therefore do not be a P, A, P, be "Assertive".

Please take note and remember that:

  1. Everyone is difficult sometimes.
  2. It is possible that you may meet at least one difficult person every day for the rest of your life.
  3. Difficult people can show negative behaviour through nonverbal communication without knowing that they are doing so.
  4. Difficult people are well trained from birth, through the media, TV, friends, bad parental skills and many other factors.
  5. There are enough difficult people around to waste your time for the rest of your life.
  6. You may never know when the next difficult person may attack you!
  7. Good news! Difficult people have an impossible job dealing with positive people.

Mastering abnormal interactions or difficult people is a skill that must be developed if you are to master your time and your life. The two most powerful skills that I have perfected over the years to overcome all abnormal interactions are:

Errol A Williams ©

About The Author

Errol A Williams

I am an International Management Trainer with over 36 years’ experience. I have trained thousands of directors, managers, leaders, supervisors, and unemployed people. My passion is to coach one million students to unleash their unlimited potential through personal growth. I was co-founder and Executive Chairman for one of Europe’s largest multi-million pound community complexes, launched by HRH the Prince of Wales in 1988. For over 25 years I have visited, counselled, and ran training courses for UK prisoners. Currently I am a Senior Pastor and Regional Overseer who sits on the National Executive Board for the Church of God of Prophecy UK Trust. I have taught Systematic Theology for over ten years. I am married and have six children and six grandchildren. I am the author of “Pursuing Excellence”, “The Temptation Trap”, “Sowing For A Blessing”, “TIPS For Dealing With Difficult Conversations” and “Building A Dream”. During the 2010 general election I stood as a Parliamentary Candidate. I am a professional photographer, graphics designer, virtual services provider, and web developer. My hobbies include chess, squash, backgammon, and domino. (My Profile)

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Claudia Alvarado
Claudia Alvarado
19 days ago

I appreciate you sharing this blog post. Thanks Again. Cool.


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