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Article by Philip Johnson


Assertiveness counselling Sometimes it is best to hold your peace, act and negotiate calmly, even if you are feeling differently.

Being yourself ... being honest, being caring and above all being fair. Fair to your self — being authentic to your beliefs while maintaining an attitude of care for others. Clearly stating your case without being selfish, vindictive or sarcastic.

When you are being assertive you are showing that you believe in yourself while maintaining respect and concern for other people's beliefs.

  • Being assertive also means being clear about what you believe and being able to communicate your ideas and feeling clearly to others. The key to being assertive is being yourself as much as you can.
  • Seeing clearly where you are going —what you mean, how you see your future can make it easier to be assertive when talking to other people.
  • Being able to tell it like it is without hurting or offending other people is the skill of assertiveness.
  • Being able to let other people tell you like it is is allowing other people to be ass
  • ertive without you being defensive.
  • Being open to other people — their ideas help in your own assertiveness.
  • Being positive and pro-active without being aggressive means you are being assertive.

If you can listen to the other person — let them know you understand their issues (even if you do not agree) you are being assertive. Invite the other person to tell their story and comment on your understanding of the situation.

Feedback to other people — what you think they mean, what you heard, and how that helps you understand where they are coming from. Nodding and using a neutral or affirming tone of voice communicates that you acknowledge the other persons existence and right to be heard.

Encourage a balanced situation — when you are talking to people — make the territory neutral. Sit or stand beside them or sit directly opposite but mirror their position.

Assertiveness counselling allows you to be yourself, allows you to ask for what you want, allows you to be heard.

Counselling assertiveness training is one of the most successful ways you can get out of life the things you really want.

Assertive people

  • Are unafraid of saying no, or yes.
  • Are able to look other people in the eye, are able to look themselves in a mirror.
  • Do not feel 'angry' unreasonably.
  • Can ask for help when they feel it is necessary.
  • Can admit to their mistakes, can take the blame without losing their identity.
  • Can find ways to have her/his needs met.
  • Is able to express their frustration without belittling the other person.
  • Pay attention to the other person by acknowledging that they are speaking — nodding and affirming actions.



People who are too passive can sometimes act out in a 'passive-aggressive' way.

Being passive- aggressive can sometimes mean feeling inadequate and living in fear of competition.

This person might fear success (self-sabotage) or be controlling and tyrannical.

Passive-aggressive people withhold vital information the group needs to complete a task or project.

They make excuses for things not being done and rarely will give a straight answer to a question.

Passive-aggressive personality

  • sends mixed messages
  • being chronically late or early
  • using misleading and deceitful excuses in order to be in control
  • sulks if things don't go his/her way
  • is obstructive.


22 Apr 2010

Last Update: 23 Apr 2012

Article/Information supplied by Philip Johnson

Disclaimer - Any general advice given in any article should not be relied upon and should not be taken as a substitute for visiting a qualified medical Doctor.