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Article form[edit]

A definition of "assertive communication" precedes meaningful debate. The article, as written, circumscribes but does not describe this mode of communication. The problems of overly aggressive or overly passive communication demand a personal stand for boundaries, but how are assertive statements formulated? In what contexts are they appropriate?

Assertive communication presumes a cooperative context where people share the fulfillment of needs. This is a context within mutual respect for physical, economic, and social boundaries. In such a context, it is typically more effective over the long term to honestly communicate what one wants or needs rather than using deceit, threats, or actual violations of others' boundaries.

The societal context of fulfilling mutual needs is predicated upon mutual respect. Those who choose to cast judgments across the chasms separating mankind including religion, ethnicity, and so on complain of "political correctness" because it limits their innate sense of superiority by encouraging mutual respect in a diverse society.

An example of carrying "political correctness" too far, on the other hand, would be using physical force to cause people to utter words of mutual respect, or taking money from people who don't participate in the mutual respect of diversity.

Ironically, "political correctness" is typically enforced by disrespecting people for being disrespectful to others. Whether or not such discourse is acceptable seems to be an individual choice.

Article responses[edit]

I completely disagree!

Me too! What is a 'personal boundary', and why must it not be intruded on. Some of us see assertiveness training as a tool of political correctness which encourages differing, confused and illogical opinions while blocking true debate in search of truth. When people stick to reason they do not need to defend themselves by stupid techniques. -- 20:35, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

As a practicing therapist I see that sub assertiveness is a major problem for many clients. I also see it manifesting in many forms including failed careers, relationships and even sexual fetishes. We all must get our basic needs met in order to be happy in life. Assertiveness is the appropriate way to get these needs met when others are involved.

Whilst any information on any subject will stimulate thought - I agree that a typical list of 'do's and don't s' is attractive advice but inauthentic in practice. Too many 'artists' have reached out to the populace with 'helpful tips' rather than respect that most communication behavior is so deeply ingrained in us (and intricately connected) that only a step-by-step scientific understanding of it has a chance of teaching us more and thereby teaching others. However, learning to 'respect' through which ever means ought not be condemned.

I find it ironic how assertiveness is regarded as the "respectful" way to stand up for one's rights, yet whenever I see assertiveness mentioned, I always find a definition of aggressive made to match. Clearly it strikes me that assertiveness is oxymoronic in that aggressiveness is labeled as something which is clearly negative in attempt to convince the 'reader' they need to change. --Resaebiunne 03:34, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Assertiveness is such a bullshit term is not even funny. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:25, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

I disagree Al.Locke 03:51, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

So do I. It is great to be assertive. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:50, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Assertiveness assumes people are rational beings[edit]

Assertiveness assumes that people are rational beings, when in fact we are not. If irrational responses arise, the assertive person seems on the ready to let them know how reasonable they (the assertive person) have been. Before we bothered with this passive/aggressive imposition we had a lot of other traits such as politeness and consideration by which we negotiated our way towards compromise. What i have noticed about assertiveness is that the assertive seem to bulldoze in with their needs, talk a lot about having their needs met and seem to emphasize how abusive everyone is when their needs are not met. To me it is so often an irritating and manipulative form of communication. Let me talk with the polite and considerate as they have the groups interest in mind - as soon as i hear that selfish assertive tone, i immediately want to leave the room.

Hmmm, and self esteem - try holding everyone in high regard.

I enjoy the fact that all the criticism of the use of the term assertiveness or the elaboration of that term in this article are characterized with an aggressive tone. Aggressive people can't stand assertive people because 'assertives' stand up to them without forcing their will upon them. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:32, 31 March 2008 (UTC)


How are we to deal with fear of being assertive with people? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:53, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Assertiveness - proto-aggression?[edit]

The term "assertiveness" in business circles may refer to a practiced use of rudeness or proto-aggression to intimidate people. The idea being to be sufficiently rude as to appear threatening, and of going as close as possible to, but without overstepping the line of being accused of violent behavior. It is a technique often practiced by managerial staff who fear that (for various reasons, but most often through their total lack of on-the-job skills) they will otherwise not be respected or obeyed by the workforce. As the article mentions, it may also include behavior such as the 'broken record' which is in principle no different from being a phone-pest, and is equally reprehensible.

The downfall of such people as who routinely practice "assertiveness" is that it may become their behavioral norm, after which they will have difficulty forming relationships or acquiring friends. Often the "asserter" will be unaware of their own constant, habitual rudeness, and will strenuously deny it even when it is pointed-out. --Anteaus (talk) 21:07, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

Personal opinion[edit]

Most people are either aggressive or passive. Very few people are assertive all the time. Being assertive is hard. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:02, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

"A person communicates assertively by not being afraid to speak his or her mind or trying to influence others, but doing so in a way that respects the personal boundaries of others." - yeah right! Like it's possible. NOT! (talk) 09:46, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Who wrote this?[edit]

Yes, who wrote this piece of shit article? And yes, that's a rhetorical question.

Assertiveness is a trait taught by many personal development experts and psychotherapists and the subject of many popular self-help books. It is linked to self-esteem and considered an important communication skill.

Uuh, what? That is the worst and lamest definition I have read for assertiveness, ever. Here's what assertiveness really is: Aggressive self-assurance. It's not some trick for people without self-esteem, because that's what the definition makes it sound like. It's for strong people like me, who don't mind being blunt to others and people who speak their mind.

Apart from that horrible definition, there are almost no citations in this article. The list of Books on assertiveness is a list of self help books, having no or next-to-none scientific value. I think it's best if we just delete this entire article, and start over from scratch!

Mr. Assertive: Manadar (talk) 14:24, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

yes it is crap but better than nothing. Surprising that so little work has been done on this. Anger management is related in some ways. --Penbat (talk) 14:47, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
I'd rather have nothing than something misleading. Manadar (talk) 14:57, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
The first comment in this section is incorrect. Assertiveness is not about being aggressive; it is about being clear and confident in expressing oneself without being aggressive. It is about being clear, not about being blunt, abrupt or abrasive. Jim Michael (talk) 17:05, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Sergio Alvarado guerra[edit]

Assertive communication is a tool that facilitates and helps relationships, this type of communication when properly used in a conversation of two or more people. decreases assumptions and promotes empathy — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:21, 19 October 2012 (UTC)