Both assertive and aggressive behavior is considered to be two entirely different approaches to confrontation. Though both are used to express something but the outcomes of both are very different from one another. Most people believe both behaviors are inter-connected but that is not the case as there are distinguishing factors that separate both from one another. So, In order to understand Assertiveness vs Aggressiveness better, let us talk about those distinguishing factors.
- Assertiveness is a Positive while Aggression is the Opposite
- Assertiveness is Rooted in Respect
- Assertiveness is Productive while Aggressiveness is Ineffective
- Assertiveness is standing up for yourself, while Aggressiveness leads to Threatening and Attacking
- Final Thoughts
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Assertive Behavior is a Positive form of Expression while Aggression is the Opposite Form:
For starters, you can just understand that assertive behavior is often considered to be a positive form of expression. And that is why people say that it is a good thing to be assertive. It is because you exactly know what you want and why you’re asserting your value on something. But with that, you also know your limits and respect the feelings of other involved. Assertiveness sits right in the heart of passivity which is undervaluing yourself.
Now if we talk about aggressiveness, then it is a negative form of expression. Aggressive behavior leads to ignoring the value and feelings of others and is also considered to be the best way to confront or negotiate with others. Due to the fact that an aggressive person doesn’t care about the feelings of others, it is often perceived poorly. You might also be interested in Best Assertiveness Training Courses & Classes from the TakeThisCourse platform.
Assertive Behavior is Rooted in Respect and the Case is otherwise with Aggression:
Just like we mentioned earlier, assertive behavior demands to respect for all people involved. And aggression on the other hand doesn’t know the meaning of respect or considering the feeling of others. Therefore, we can say that assertive behavior is rooted in respect and thinking about the feeling of others. While aggressive behavior is the exact opposite of it. The best example to explain this situation is the following.
If you disagree with your partner on something and saying it directly and expressing how unfit this idea of his is, might be a little rude and thus shows aggressive behavior. Instead of using these words, if you politely ask him to think of another idea because you think this idea won’t work would be a little more polite and won’t hurt the feelings of your partner. The idea here is to express your opinion without getting selfish.
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Assertiveness is Considered Productive while Aggressiveness is Ineffective:
Let’s take a look back at the example where two partners are sharing their ideas with each other. Now if partner A has shared an idea and B doesn’t like it and says it’s a bad idea bluntly would depict aggressive behavior right? And this would hurt the feelings of partner A and instead of focusing on the idea, the two would start a fight about it. This would all be quite a non-productive right? But if, partner B shows assertive behavior and tries to explain her feelings without hurting the feelings of her partner would show that she cares about the feelings of her partner too. And this would be a clear message to the other partner that he needs to think of a better idea. So here, the discussion has become quite productive all because of the assertive behavior of the partner.
Assertiveness is all about Standing up for yourself, while Aggressiveness leads to Threatening and Attacking
When you have to stand up for yourself, sure go ahead do it as it is your right. But do watch your behavior as well. To put it into simpler words, if you have to stand up for yourself, your rights, beliefs, or values then you have to do it in a respectful and nonthreatening way. Without getting violent and angry. This would deliver your words to other people in the right way. But instead of adapting the assertive approach, if you are being aggressive and become violent and start to attack people (Physically or verbally) then this would create chaos and nobody would ever listen to you. So, you have to be careful with your words and the best way to do that is to be assertive instead of aggressive.
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It is indeed very easy to lose temper and act with aggression. But as you can see from the above Assertiveness Vs Aggressiveness comparison, aggression only makes things worse for everyone. So, the best strategy here is to be assertive instead of aggressive. Hopefully, our effort to compare Assertiveness vs Aggressiveness is well explained.