Assertiveness – Showing Empathy in Crisis Situations


  • Is the effective expression of oneself and at the same time standing up for your view point whilst you also respect the rights and beliefs of others
  • It is a way of behaving forcefully without ignoring or trampling  on the rights of other people
  • It is a means that you can confidently but peacefully demonstrate your right or point of view
  • The opposite of assertiveness is passiveness  


One is assertive for the following key points:

1. Assertive as an individual:

  1. He/she possesses self-confident
  2. Builds confidence and stands for his/her opinion/decision

2. Assertive in a group:

  1. You put your points across to the others in a confident and non-aggressive manner
  2. You recognize other people’s point of view
  3. Respecting the other group’s ideas and opinions
  4. Being tolerance of the differences between your group and the other group
  5. Putting your points across convincingly

3. Assertive on a one-to-one relationship

  1. Being firm but polite
  2. You acknowledge and are confident in what you stand for

Benefits of Assertiveness

  • It helps to boost one’s self-esteem (explain the meaning of self-esteem)
  • You earn respect for others
  • It helps to control stress  and anger and improve coping skills especially with too many responsibilities because you have a hard time saying no
  • It is a core communication skills
  • It gives the best chance of successfully delivering your message
  • You stand up for your right
  • You respect yourself and others
  • You are confident but not pushy

Outcomes of Assertiveness:

  1. It is self-fulfilling
  2. It makes you escape from trouble
  3. It prevents teenage and unwanted pregnancies
  4. Its prevents infections Ebola disease


1. Assertive Person:

  1. States his/her opinions, while still being respectful to others
  2. Speaks openly
  3. Uses the conversational tone
  4. Makes good eye contact
  5. Shows expressions that match the message
  6. Relaxes and adopts an open posture and expressions
  7. Participates in groups
  8. Speaks to the point
  9. Values self-equal to others
  10. Tries to hurt no one including him/herself
  11. Usually reaches goals without alienating others
  12. I’m okay, you are okay

2. Passive Person:

  1. Doesn’t state their opinions at all
  2. Speaks softly
  3. Avoids looking at people
  4. Shows little or no expression
  5. Moves and withdraws sluggishly
  6. Isolates self from groups
  7. Agrees with others, despite feelings
  8. Values self-less than others
  9. In a group but dormant
  10. Hurts self to avoid hurting others
  11. Does not reach goals and may not know goals
  12. You’re okay , I’m not

 3. Aggressive Person:

  1. Attacks or ignore others’ opinions in favour of their own
  2. Interrupts and talks over others
  3. Speaks loudly
  4. Glares and stares at others
  5. Creates fear with expressions
  6. Stands rigidly, crosses arms, invades others’ personal space
  7. Controls groups
  8. Only considers own feelings, and/or demands of others
  9. Values self-more than others
  10. Hurts others to avoid being hurt
  11. Reaches goals but hurts others in the process
  12. I’m okay, you’re not



  • is concern for other people
  • it is the ability to see the world as another person, to share  and understand another person’s feelings, needs, concerns and/or state emotional
  • the ability to put ourselves in someone else’s position
  • The ability to see the world through the eyes of those who are different from us. For example: concerns for orphans/survivors, for health workers in general, for their families who have lost loved ones through Ebola, marginalized children, out of school children, children whose parents are very poor, deprived with low self-esteem, war affected and refugee families, Ebola affected and abandoned children, etc.


  • It is an innate behavioral quality that can be developed
  • It can come naturally to most people
  • It possesses good power of imagination to see the world from the perspective of other people
  • It is a selfless act
  • It enables us to learn more about people
  • It is a desirable skill that is beneficial to ourselves, others and society
  • Phrases or statements such as: being in your shoes and soul mates are all examples of empathy
  • It is compared to spiritual or religious state of connection with other person or group of people
  • It is the most advanced of all communication skills

Being empathetic has two components:

  1. Effective communication (understanding is desired in any communication process)
  2. Strong imagination (good powers to empathize with others) 


  • The different is that with sympathy, you feel pity or sorry for another person
  • While with empathy, you feel with others
  • When you empathize, you enjoy better relationship with others and greater being through life.

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