Assertiveness – Life Skills notes KNEC

aggression, assertiveness, passiveness


Assertiveness is the ability to state your feelings without anger or being passive. It involves standing for your rights without offending others

Characteristics of an assertive person

  • They respect rights and interests of others
  • They are honest to themselves and others, willing to negotiate without losing their stand and firm in their decisions
  • Maintains self-respect and express their feelings freely

Assertiveness Training

  • Assertiveness is used with excessive shy people or withdrawn individuals. It often used in groups
  • The major tenet of assertiveness training is that a person should be free to express thoughts and feelings without undue
  • The client is taught that everyone has the right (not obligation) of self-expression. The client then learns the difference among aggressive, passive and assertive actions
  • A client tells the counselor at the beginning what the objectives are, for example, to be able to speak out in a job interview. The counselor gives the client both positive and negative feedback about present behavior. the next step involve the modeling of the desired behavior and the client role playing of the behavior observed. The counselor then reinforces the behavior and helps to shape the clients
  • Finally the client is given assignments to be completed between sessions. It is important that assertive behavior should be shaped gradually in order to keep the client reassured.

Importance of being assertive

  • Achieving ones goals
  • Avoiding getting into trouble

Difference between Pleasure and Peer Pressure

Pleasure refers to something or someone that provides a source of happiness – it’s a fundamental feeling that is hard to define but that people desire to experience Whereas Peer pressure refers to the influence from ones peers to conform

Values associated with assertiveness

  • Honesty
  • Love
  • simplicity
  • Co-operation

Effective Communication

This is the ability to express oneself clearly and effectively during interactions with other people in any given circumstances. Communication is either verbal or non-verbal. Verbal communication is when one speaks out or writes down what one intends to communicate. Non-verbal communication is where one uses body language such as gestures and signals to communicate.

Effective communication is a skill that can be learned and developed through constant practice. It involves among others, active listening, effective use of verbal and body language, observation and respect for others feelings. Communication is made effective by:

  • sending a clear and precise message
  • use of appropriate language
  • effective listening
  • being conscious of the audience

Ways of utilizing communication skill. These may include:

  • Being able to communicate ideas skillfully and persuade others not to bully their friends
  • Being able to use the appropriate tone of voice in expressing anger, sadness, and happiness as well as being able to deal with nervousness, and shame. Respect and understanding others would be of great help in addressing the
  • Being able to use the appropriate verbal and non-verbal language in asking for, and presenting information and influencing and persuading
  • The ability to use non-verbal methods during negotiations by sustaining eye contact and using appropriate facial expression
  • Being able to say “Yes” or “No” with certainty
  • The ability to demonstrate active listening and to communicate empathy, understanding and interest
  • The ability to provide facts and raise awareness

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