Dictionary Week: Day5 – Assertive

So it comes to an end to a dictionary week of words (thank god lol). I did aim to originally do 7 days and 2/3 words each day, obviously i didn’t get to do that as i did not have enough time. There is the small part of me that lacked motivation finding the right words or terms because they difficult to find so today i’m going to finish with the word assertive and its compliance’s passive and aggressive. Assertive is something many of us don’t seem to get right or for that matter understand.

Assertive, Assertiveness

When one is assertive they have the ability to speak up and tell the other person what they want, that’s to say that if you were disrespected or something you don’t like happens in your space you have every right to tell the other person it bothers you, we were given a mouth to speak after all. What goes on the outside is not controlled by us, only the inside can be controlled, we can speak and be heard and we can tell others how we feel, what we like and what don’t like. Simply telling someone “i don’t feel comfortable with you doing that around me” is being assertive however being assertive correctly also depends on the tone in which you speak to someone when they are around. A better example might be someone is causing trouble in the middle of night, shouting or playing music loud in their car on the front of your house! What do you do? Well to be assertive would mean to go out and tell them to turn their music off or to quieten down because its being truthful, if something hurts, bothers us then we should tell others we don’t like it, tolerate it or even that it makes us feel a specific way. Most of us are frightened to be assertive and to speak up to someone who causes trouble but you will not get what you want until you do so, it is also important to balance your assertiveness to being in between your needs versus theirs. Of course we might approach a situation thinking our needs are only important but sometimes people do not mean to offend you nor hurt you as they are not aware they are doing it, they may not be aware they are bothering you, in that case you should be calm about it but stern also.

There is a level of strictness and straightness you must have with the person your dealing with, in the case of someone playing music full blast in the middle of the night you would calmly walk out and tell them you would appreciate they turn their music down because it is keeping you awake. With that said its possible for some people not to listen or to simply bend your rules or tolerance threshold, in other words they may carry on doing it. If they do you may warn them that if they do not turn their music down you will have to call the police (fair right?), in that instance you will back to the house waiting for them to turn the music off. The funny thing is that the person you are dealing with may hate the idea they have to do something you want but if they complain and eventually do it even after complaining then you have gotten what you want by being stern and straight forward even when the other person didn’t seem receptive to the idea. This if for your respect, for your personal space, for your boundaries and for your self health, you cannot be constantly bothered and tolerate people with complex behavior and attitude otherwise you will drive yourself mad over it. Take the responsibility in this type of situation and tell them what you want, just remember that its your needs and theirs too but if their needs in this situation are less important do not be aggressive about it but do not be passive either.


When one is passive it means to be aloof and to be closed off from situations that usually need or require assertive behavior; i deem this to be caused by 1 of two things. When one is scared of something happening they may become passive and fear confrontation of the problem or problem starter, the person may not confront it because they fear they will lose something in the exchange or possible be beaten before they have tried, it may also make a person feel that if they are more aggressive in their assertive approach that they may lose the other person or the person’s respect when in fact it does the opposite. Being passive often will not win much respect and it will allow others to carry on doing the things you don’t like. Point two is that some people may be totally unaware of what goes on around them and they pass off real problems as non important or as something that can be easily be fixed on its own, for example when dealing with children a child may misbehave and whilst ignoring bad behavior would work somewhat you also need to tell the child what you want and expect otherwise the child does not have any direction of how he or she should behave.


Aggressiveness or aggressive is when we approach something with anger or firmness, if we are too aggressive we may lose control simply because of our needs, the problem with aggressiveness is that it must be balanced and not used often, if used it tends to give out the sign that what you need is more important and that you are losing control over what you want. As said above if you deal with people in a calm manner aggressiveness is not needed however aggression also means to be straight forward when taking the bull by the horns. Someone can be somewhat aggressive simply by telling someone to turn their music off because it is too loud, this does not mean its bad however to be aggressive when used correctly shows you mean business like the boss who wants things on his terms too! This is why balancing aggressive and passive attitude is important otherwise in one scenario you look like the victim and in the other you look like it doesn’t bother you enough for you to do anything about it especially if the thing or event should be somewhat corrected. If your too aggressive you will look the victim and look like someone who is desperate to get your way which in turn gives the other person power over you, if your too passive you will look like the thing that has happened has not effected you enough for you to take it seriously and this by action shows you don’t mind them doing it.


Its important to note that words only become important with the actions shown to back them up, body language and the way you look while dealing with these problems is critical to getting the respect back you deserve. Can you really tell someone to turn their music off while getting overly angry? You can but your only reinforcing that it annoys you.

Can you really tell someone to bug off by ignoring them, sometimes this might be true but don’t you think it would be better to let them know it bothers you and your space? If you get too passive nothing will change and everyone else will not know they crossed that line or your boundaries especially the ones you consider very intolerable.

Your words become powerful with strict, firm and serious actions behind them and when you balance your aggressive and passive approach 50/50 you will look on the outside as someone who is not angry but someone who is stern and knows what they want and expect from others. Simply telling someone to turn their music off without a reason and while looking like your words have no energy behind them will almost seem like their is no reason for you to complain, give your reason for the issue and how it bothers you and show energy in your words that you want something done about it, make sure people take you and your wants/needs seriously. If someone respects you and your ways they will listen and they will change it to suit your needs, if you respect them as people too which you should always do you will more likely get what it is you want, and faster. Too much aggression can also look egotistical like its all about you so work on your tone and your approach when being assertive and you will be better equipped to deal with those who take it one step too far in your world.

2 thoughts on “Dictionary Week: Day5 – Assertive

  1. Dictionary week was a great idea. It helps bring up some topics that might not be talked about normally. Assertiveness is definitely an area that I need to address. One needs to find the right combination of these three and for me I’m way too passive and not assertive and aggressive enough. I’m glad you brought this topic up.

    • I actually thought this week would be kinda boring since no one likes dictionaries all that much LOL! But your right there is some good words that get misunderstood or aren’t used in reality in the way they should be intended.

      I am sometimes passive too in an aloof secure kind of way but i still miss certain things that i should address; some people will ask me what i want from them and i often expect them to figure it out on their own because its obvious to me but i realize that it might not be obvious to them. Instead i should just tell them straight as sometimes people can be on different wavelengths of understanding. However for the rest i’m quite a strict person, i just need to speak up more about what i expect and want from others when they next ask me.

      And glad you liked it Andrew, Thanks for your support 🙂

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