A while ago, I had promised my readers to write a blog on Assertive and Aggressive Behaviour and I have been getting repeated requests ever since for this article. This is an extremely important topic that the candidates must know. I waited for some time to do a proper research and come up with a good article that will help them. Since this is a behavioral topic, I will also make a short video with the help of live behavioral examples for better comprehension.

Look out for the same in my YouTube channel ‘AFPA’.

We often come across three types of candidates during the PP and DT or GTO tests – Passive, Assertive and Aggressive. Out of these, candidates who are assertive, are the ones who normally get recommended in the SSB. Let’s understand the differences in their behavioural manifestations.

Passive Person

Normally, the passive person is,

  • afraid to initiate the conversation,
  • speaks softly,
  • avoids looking at people,
  • shows little or no expressions,
  • slouches and withdraws,
  • isolates self from the group,
  • agrees with others despite personal feelings,
  • values himself less than others,
  • hurts self to avoid hurting others,
  • does not reach goals, and
  • may not even know the goals.

Such candidates normally believe that ‘Others are Ok and they are not’.

Aggressive Person

An aggressive person normally,

  • interrupts and takes over others,
  • speaks loudly,
  • glares and stares at others,
  • intimidates by using expressions,
  • stands rigidly,
  • crosses arms,
  • invades the personal space of others,
  • control groups,
  • considers only personal feelings and demands from others,
  • values self more than others,
  • hurts others to avoid being hurt, and
  • reaches goals but hurts others in the process.

Such people believe that “they are okay and others are not”.



Assertive Person

An assertive person,

  • speaks openly,
  • uses a conversational tone,
  • makes good eye contact,
  • shows expressions that match the message he is trying to convey,
  • relaxes and adopts an open stance and expression,
  • participates in groups,
  • keeps to the point,
  • values self equal to the others,
  • tries not to hurt anyone including self, and
  • usually reaches goals without hurting others.

Such individuals believe that “they are okay and so are others.”     

Now if you correlate the above behavioural manifestations with the behavior of candidates during PPDT, you can understand the candidates described above. In any group, most of the candidates are either passive or aggressive. There will be one or two candidates who will be self-assured and assertive. Normally, they are the candidates who get screened in.

While this is the norm, sometimes there is a complete fish market. Despite repeated intervention, the group does not behave and the discussion is called off. In such cases, the screening happens based on quality of story, narration and the general body language of the candidate. Since the assessors are trained in psychology and can also understand body language, it’s not very difficult to pick up candidates based on these characteristics.

An assertive candidate, when faced with too many aggressive candidates, will try to control these guys. When realizing the futility, they would start with their points in their natural tone and manner, good enough for the assessors to understand. Thus, all those who feel that there is some kind of bias in the screening test are wrong in their perception. Hence, try and modify your behavior and adopt the assertive style, though it’s not so easy to change at your age.

I hope this bolg has helped you. I would recommend you to watch the video on INTROVET VS EXTROVERT.