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List of Assertive, Aggressive and Passive Phrases and Statements with Examples

Besides self consideration, considering others, putting yourself in other person shoes, which is called empathy, will help to enhance your interpersonal skills which inturn help you to influence and persuade others. Assertive, aggressive and passive behavior will help us to understand how well we balance these considerations Imagine, while at work you get a call from hospital that your friend as met with an accident. You've to there as soon as possible. So, you ask your manager to grant leave to attend your friend but your manager denies saying, "Project deadline is important and it is not possible to grant leave to you". In this situation, you would respond in three different ways.

Assertive, Aggressive Passive Phrases Statements Examples
Assertive, Aggressive Passive
Phrases Statements


You will fight with your manager saying, "You have no human emotions and you don't understand my situation. You are not fit to be a leader because you don't understand your team's problems. Whether you grant leave or not, I'm going to leave now because my friend is more important than project deadlines at this moment." Aggressive behavior is, "I'm right, you're wrong".

Aggressive Communication is, "I'm right, you're wrong" apposed to assertive, "I'm right, you're right" and passive, "I'm wrong, you're right"

Aggressive Statements Examples: 

  1. Please do what I say
  2. I want everybody to agree with my views
  3. This is how it will be done and any counter arguments on this issue will not be entertained
  4. I'm clear about my decisions and it will not be changed for any reason
  5. I'm least bothered about others views and I'm firm on my beliefs.

Examples of Aggressive Communication 

  1. When you want others to follow what you say without considering their point of view.


You would simply obey your manager and go back to work by relaxing your personal problems. Passive behavior is, "I'm wrong and you are right".

Passive language is about, "I'm wrong, you're right" compared to assertive, "I'm right, you're right" and aggressive, "I'm right, you're wrong" behavior. List of passive phrases, sentences and statements with examples include:
  1. I will do whatever you say
  2. You are my boss and I will listen to you
  3. I have a different view on this but it is OK, I will do what you say
  4. You are better than me in many aspects
  5. I'm not able to understand the way you understand the concepts.


When you manager doesn't grant leave to you, you would talk to him saying, "I really do understand how important is our project deadline but you must also understand that my friend is hospitalized and I have to be there to assist him because he doesn't have anybody known to him in this town. So, quickly let us resolve this issue in such a way that both of us win." Assertive behavior is, "I'm Right and You are Right".Assertive communication is, "I'm OK, you're OK" attitude, compared to aggressive, "I'm OK, you're not OK", and passive, "I'm not OK, you're OK"

Here is a list of assertive statements with examples:
  1. You are right and I have different opinion in this regard
  2. I will definitely agree with your opinions but you should also understand how I feel about it.
  3. We both are right
  4. I respect your decision, and please right mine as well
  5. I will do what you say but you should do what I say

Being Assertive is about Persuasion and Empathy and to Focus on Intent

PIE Mnemonic:

  1. Persuade but with politeness
  2. Intent : focus on goals rather than taking it personally
  3. Empathy: understand what others want 
Being assertive includes both being persuasive as well as empathetic as the same time. Persuasiveness includes some of the verbal communication elements such as using persuasive words, ability to say, "No" politely, delivering persuasive presentation, effective usage of your speech prosody, eloquent language such as use of figure of speech and you should know how to avoid few verbal communication barriers such as use of Mother Tongue Influence (MTI),  
Empathy include giving genuine compliments, giving constructive feedback, 

Advantages of Assertive Communication

  • You will be able to handle interpersonal conflicts more effectively.
Interpersonal skills is one of the basic life skills and verbal communication is a vital element. Note that none of these, assertive, aggressive or passive behavior is either right or wrong. Depending on various social situations, each behavior, words, phrases or statements will take significance. You can use any of the above statements to build interesting human relationships. Infact, it will add value to both, your intrapersonal as well as interpersonal behavior skills.

Related Posts:

Assertive Listening Skills Examples: SPIDER Mnemonic: Selective, Psuedo, Inactive, Detective, Empathic, Reflexive
Types of Assertive Behavior with Examples using 6V Mnemonic: Visual, Visceral (Emotions), Voice, Verbal, Vicinity, Velocity

See Also

List of Intrapersonal Communication Skills using B OPEN mnemonic: Belief, Optimistic, Pessimistic, Empathic and Neutral
Examples of Perseverance in real life using PATIENCE mnemonic: Play, Adapt, Time, Influence, Elect, Nurture, Comfort increases, Empathy
Empathy StatementsLEAP Mnemonic: Listen, Express, Ask, Pause
List of Roles People Play in LifePRICE Mnemonic: Professional, Relative, Inner self, Citizen, Emphatic friend
List of Judgmental WordsVAK Mnemonic: Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic


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