Aggressive, Submissive and Assertive Responses

Aggressive, Submissive and Assertive Responses


Purpose

This is an activity on being assertive. A great way to learn how to be assertive is to know how it contrasts with being aggressive or submissive. This activity helps delegates to analyse a given situation and analyse various responses delivered and see how their feelings are affected as a result of each response.

Before going through this activity, you should have talked about assertiveness in detail along with giving examples so that delegates know what is expected of them here.

Objective

Analyse a situation and formulate your responses if you were to be aggressive, submissive or assertive.

What You Need

  • Three copies of Assertiveness Sheet provided below for each delegate.
  • A copy of the Assertiveness Example Sheet provided below for each delegate.

Setup

  • Distribute the Assertiveness Sheets and Assertiveness Example Sheets to all delegates.
  • Ask them to consider a situation and use one form to analyse it.
  • Given the situation, they should formulate an aggressive, submissive/passive and assertive response. They should record their analysis in their forms.
  • Allocate 5 minutes for this part.
  • Bring everyone back together and ask each person to explain what the situation was and then provide their analysis.
  • Ask other delegates to provide feedback or correction for each type of response. The aim is to learn what each type of response looks like and the kind of negative emotion it leads to.
  • Allocate a total of 10 minutes for this part.
  • Ask delegates to consider a new situation and use a new form to analyse it.
  • As before, after 10 minutes get them to share their results and receive feedback.
  • Repeat one more round.
  • Follow with a discussion.

Timing

Explaining the Exercise: 2 minutes

Activity: (5 min analysing + 10 min discussing) * 3 rounds = 45 minutes

Group Feedback: 5 minutes

Discussion

Has your understanding of an assertive response increased as a result of this exercise? What did you think of other people’s suggestions on your situations? What did you think of other people’s scenarios and their analysis? What was the most important lesson you learned in this exercise?

 

 


Assertiveness Example Sheet

Consider a given situation and analyse it below based on various responses that you can give.

 

Situation:

My friend keeps borrowing my books and never returns them.

 

Aggressive Response

Your response:

I will never lend you another one!

Positive outcome:

I would not lose my books.

Negative feelings:

I feel bad that I might hurt my friend’s feelings or even lose a valuable relationship over a simple book.

 

Submissive/Passive Response

Your response:

I will ignore it. It’s only a book.

Positive outcome:

I keep my friend happy. He has the book and won’t hear a complaint from me.

Negative feelings:

I lost my books which costs me. I also need them as reference but now I cannot use them.

 

Assertive Response

Your response:

I lend you several of my books and I am happy to lend more to you. I understand that you may not have had enough time to read them. I use many of them as reference and I need them back. I appreciate if you can return them soon after I give them to you.

Positive outcome:

My friend now understands that I need the books back and I will get to keep my friend.

Negative feelings:

I feel good now but I understand being assertive requires courage, planning and skill.

 

 


Assertiveness Sheet

Consider a given situation and analyse it below based on various responses that you can give.

 

Situation:

 

Aggressive Response

Your response:

 

Positive outcome:

 

Negative feelings:

 

 

Submissive/Passive Response

Your response:

 

Positive outcome:

 

Negative feelings:

 

 

Assertive Response

Your response:

 

Positive outcome:

 

Negative feelings:

 

 

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