Do you find it difficult to say no when someone asks you to do something?

Posted: May 13, 2015 in May 2015

Assertiveness is inextricably linked to time management; a reluctance to refuse unexpected or unreasonable demands from others may prevent us from completing scheduled activities.


It can be helpful to think about how you are likely to respond to requests. Imagine a continuum with passive and aggressive at opposite ends and assertive in the middle:



Passive                                               Assertive                                      Aggressive


Passive communication can be characterized by the following pattern:

Thoughts: "My needs don't matter" or "I'm just trying to keep the peace" or "If I tell him what I'm thinking, he'll think I'm being difficult"

Behaviour: saying nothing


Aggressive communication may involve:

Thought: "I have to look out for myself"

Behaviour: talking over people


Assertive communication is characterized by confidently and respectfully standing up for yourself. Behaviours include a combination of both listening and speaking.


Assertiveness training can be helpful if you find yourself on either end of this continuum.


Next time we will talk about techniques to enhance your problem solving abilities.