The difference between passive, aggressive and assertive behaviour

The difference between passive, aggressive and assertive behaviour

passive aggressive assertive

The difference between passive, aggressive and assertive behaviour

Communication Styles

 

 

 

 

Passive

 

 

 

 

 

Assertive

 

 

 

Aggressive

 

 

General Compliant, submissive, talks little, vague non-committal communication, puts self down, praises others

 

“I don’t mind…that’s fine….yes alright”

Actions and expressions fit with words spoken, firm but polite and clear messages, respectful of self and others

 

“That’s a good idea, and how about if we did this too…” or “I can see that, but I’d really like…”

 

Sarcastic, harsh, always right, superior, know it all, interrupts, talks over others, critical, put-downs, patronising, disrespectful of others

 

“This is what we’re doing, if you don’t like it, tough”

Beliefs You’re okay, I’m not

Has no opinion other than that the other person/s are always more important, so it doesn’t matter what they think anyway

I’m okay, you’re okay

Believes or acts as if all the individuals involved are equal, each deserving of respect, and no more entitled than the other to have things done their way

 

I’m okay, you’re not

Believe they are entitled to have things done their way, the way they want it to be done, because they are right, and others (and their needs) are less important

 

Eyes Avoids eye contact, looks down, teary, pleading Warm, welcoming, friendly, comfortable eye contact

 

Narrow, emotion-less, staring, expressionless
Posture Makes body smaller – stooped, leaning, hunched shoulders

 

 

Relaxed, open, welcoming Makes body bigger – upright, head high, shoulders out, hands on hips, feet apart
Hands Together, fidgety, clammy

 

Open, friendly and appropriate gestures Pointing fingers, making fists, clenched, hands on hips

 

Consequences Give in to others, don’t get what we want or need, self-critical thoughts, miserable

 

Good relationships with others, happy with outcome and to compromise Make enemies, upset others and self, feel angry and resentful