An Obedient Dog
An Obedient Dog (@tamasp)

Obedient and Assertive: the differences

The English language adjectives Obedient and Assertive are similar in meaning, but there are differences as I shall explain, using British English examples. 

Obedient derives from the verb obey. It means doing what someone else (normally someone in power, like a teacher or parent) tells you to. It is way to say someone is strongly under the control of another and are very subservient in the relationship. They do what is asked without hesitating. It can be used for both human-human relationships as well as human-animal relationships. The opposite is disobedient.
"I expect all my students to be obedient and behave well in the classroom."
"It is important for a farm dog to be obedient."
"My mother didn't like it when my son was disobedient."

Obedience (noun) - when someone is obedient, they are said to be displaying obedience.
"Obedience is required from all followers of that religion."
"Disobedience will not be tolerated from the cadets."
"I took my dog to obedience classes. We both learned a lot!"

Obedient Dog
An Obedient Dog

Assertive derives from the verb assert, meaning to be confident and self-assured. Assertive people will stand up for their rights, their beliefs and desires. They will not be afraid to express their thoughts and feelings and they won't let someone else control them.
"My son was quite assertive when he asked his boss for a pay rise."
"His assertiveness was recognized by everyone else in the room."
"Even though the taxi driver was aggressive and rude, I was assertive when challenging the fare."

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