Assertive behavior - what is this style in psychology

Sometimes the way we react to the behavior of others can make us regret and feel guilty. At other times, we feel irritated and criticize others for any reason. These are all signs that we have not developed the skill of assertive behavior.

Two extremes often fight in a person. It is difficult to remember any case when a person, having gone to extremes, is happy. For example, if he is incredibly kind to others, he may be taken advantage of. If he works a lot, his family is most likely not very happy about it and this has a bad effect on raising children. If you rest a lot, it leads to laziness and slowness. In a word, extremes are always bad.


What types of interactions does assertive behavior offer as an alternative? Assertiveness is the golden mean between aggressiveness and passivity. An assertive style of behavior is based on restraint, respect and self-esteem, and cooperation.

The correct answer to an indiscreet question

Sometimes you meet people who are so ill-mannered that they have the audacity to ask inappropriate and tactless questions. And here the opponent’s aggression is quite obvious. However, there are constructive methods of dealing with “boors” - assertiveness.

There are several ways you can go here. Another option is to answer the question with a question. You can simply ignore it if the situation allows. Particularly tactless people should be calmly explained that this does not concern them, so there will be no conversation about this problem. If there is a desire to continue the dialogue, then you need to move on to another topic as soon as possible.

Assertive behavior skills

Skills of assertive behavior according to S.V. Kovalev:

  • taking responsibility for your behavior;
  • self-respect and respect;
  • sincerity, honesty and integrity;
  • ability to listen and understand;
  • Confidence and ability to demonstrate a positive attitude.

Assertiveness helps to fight the intrusiveness of neighbors and sellers, the arrogance of the boss and other people trying to sit on your neck. However, not all people can staunchly defend their opinion, without unnecessary explanations and justifications they can say “I don’t want”, “I don’t need it”, etc. What does this depend on? From personality traits.

What prevents the formation of assertiveness skills?

Assertiveness is closely related to confidence, adequate self-esteem, self-esteem, self-esteem, and empathy. If these qualities are lacking, then a person cannot show adequate persistence. Why is this happening? It's all about family upbringing: some parents taught them to negotiate and get their way, while others were taught to be obedient, that is, passive and comfortable.

Interesting! The more often a person turns to assertive behavior, the more stable his self-esteem and the greater his self-esteem. The more often a person gives in and sacrifices himself, the lower his self-esteem.

Victim and aggressor

In communication between people, two other extremes often arise. The victim feels weak, unable to make decisions, constantly seeks support, and also blames others for his failures. She is guided by the principle: “You all owe me, I am offended, weak, and the weak need to be supported.”

The aggressor adopts the opposite behavior. He clearly or covertly manipulates those around him and does not care at all about the opinion and success of another person. His principle: “You owe me, because I am stronger.”

It is also true that if in a conversation one person takes the role of a victim, the second even unwittingly becomes an aggressor and vice versa. In any case, these two extreme roles do not carry effective behavior, but are built on mutual parasitism.

Therefore, if we are talking about communication between two or more people, it is important not to go to extremes, but to develop some kind of balance.

Rules of assertive behavior

By and large, there is only one rule of assertiveness: you need to remember that all people have equal rights. Here they are:

  • the right to express feelings and emotions;
  • the right to express opinions and beliefs;
  • the right to agree and disagree;
  • the right to change your mind;
  • the right to admit one’s mistake and incompetence (“I don’t understand”);
  • the right to be yourself and not please others;
  • the right not to take on someone else’s responsibility (you are responsible only for your words and actions);
  • the right to ask for help;
  • the right to set priorities;
  • the right to be heard and noticed;
  • the right to say “I don’t care” if it really is so (not as an excuse or out of fear);
  • the right to be happy and unhappy, successful and unsuccessful, etc. (we choose our own path);
  • the right to be illogical in decisions (you do not have to explain every step you take to other people).

Does your life also depend on the opinions of strangers?

I'm looking for 5 people who suffer from the opinions of loved ones or strangers who want to learn to live their own lives

You consider yourself worse than others

You can't say no to other people because you feel guilty.

You don’t know how to solve the problem and already consider yourself doomed to eternal suffering

If you recognize yourself, sign up for a diagnostic consultation with a psychologist

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