Tell The Difference Between Assertive, Passive and Aggressive Behaviour

Some people, more usually women, are brought up to nurture and this can mean that they are conditioned to bend their own wills for the assumed greater good of others.    This means that they tend to agree with opposing opinions, even when they know that they are right, or they ignore bullying or domineering behaviour without saying anything for fear of upsetting others.  Many will feel that they won’t be loved or valued unless they are subservient to some degree.

Many people feel that if they assert themselves others will think of their behaviour as aggressive.   There is a huge difference between being assertive and being aggressive.   Assertive people state their opinions while being respectful of others.   Aggressive people attack or ignore others’ opinions in favour of their own.   Passive people don’t state their opinions at all.  

 The chart below gives some examples of

The differences between Passive, Aggressive and Assertive behaviour

If you would like help in identifying how you can become more assertive please get in touch.



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15 Responses to Tell The Difference Between Assertive, Passive and Aggressive Behaviour

  1. Meg Brookes says:

    Just some feedback for you. Thanks again – like a lot of the stuff on your website Jacqui . all the best Meg

  2. Relictus says:

    I discovered these important differences while reading “The Assertiveness Workbook”. I visited this site for a quick refresher.

    It surprises me that these simple values are not formally articulated in schools, along with a study of basic ethics. Passive people need assertive social skills from time to time. Aggressives need passive social skills from time to time. Assertives need to be aggressive or passive in the appropriate circumstances. Skills require practice.

    • nasir ali khan afridi says:

      Very great way of judging others and knowing self. In our country, the third one country Pakistan lack of such devices especially the subjects of psychology

      .asir Ali khan Afridi
      M.Sc psychology
      Northern university nowshera KPK

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  4. Theron says:

    You actually maake it seem so easy with your presentation but I find thhis opic to be
    actually something which I think I would never understand.
    It seems ttoo complicated and extremely broad for me. I am
    looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  5. Anand says:

    Very beautiful article!

  6. Cyndee Griffith says:


    I would like to find more articles about aggressive and/or assertive behavior that I may take to my class and share. Do you have any articles that you could suggest? If so, please send me the links.

    I so appreciate your assistance.

    Have a great day.

    Cyndee Griffith

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  8. omolara. says:

    Tnks so much, for this detailed difference between aggressive and passive meaning.

  9. Ms Lukas says:

    Thanks for your good information I learned a lots from now I know the difference between the assertive, passive and aggressive person and I know who am I. Good day Jacqueline

  10. A motivating discussion is definitely worth comment.
    I believe that you ought to publish more on this topic, it may not
    be a taboo matter but usually folks don’t speak about such issues.
    To the next! All the best!!

  11. Pretty! This was an extremely wonderful article.
    Thank you for providing these details.

  12. It very extraordinary to learn that we are all humanly able to change if we need to ,that is helpful when it is an attribute to develop ourselves physically and emotionally.I have enjoyed reading about the ways of behavior and it is good to know that awareness is possible if you allow it and that we can fairly aim high and achieve our goals,respectfully acceptable to others around us with the same thought in mind.

  13. Leticia says:

    Hi there to all, it’s truly a pleasant for me to visit this site,
    it includes valuable Information.

  14. Mimi says:

    Could you please give some examples of aggressive speech vs assertive speech?
    Like people who are exhibiting aggression say things like: …..

    Thank you

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