How Do You Know If You’re Being Assertive Or Aggressive?

How Do You Know If You’re Being Assertive Or Aggressive?

Without emotional intelligence, the line between assertive and aggressive can become blurred.

In the business world, this balancing act is especially tricky.

How Do You Know If You’re Being Assertive Or Aggressive?

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We must advocate for ourselves, enforce boundaries, and project confidence while also remaining calm, respectful, and likable.

Let’s take a look at the differences between being assertive and aggressive.

Observe your own behaviors and adjust if necessary. 

Aggressiveness Comes From A Place Of Insecurity

People get aggressive when they feel threatened.

If you are confident and secure, asking for what you want isn’t charged with so much meaning.

It’s not personal.

What Does Aggression Look And Sound Like?

  • A lack of respect for feelings or personal space
  • Red-faced, pointing fingers, wide eyes, loud volume
  • “I am more deserving! My opinion is more important!”

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Assertiveness Is All About Respect – For Yourself And Others

When you’re assertive, you take into consideration other people’s feelings.

You get your point across without defensiveness or hostility.

Assertive People Respectfully…

  • Ask for what they want
  • Establish strong boundaries
  • Communicate clearly
  • Hold others accountable

Adopting An Assertive Mindset

  • Value yourself. Recognize that what you want is just as important as what others want. Not more, not less.
  • Get comfortable with other people’s discomfort. Some people are going to be upset when you stand up for yourself. That’s something they have to work on – not you.
  • Check your intent. While advocating for yourself, periodically check in: Am I communicating from a place of compassion, empathy, and respect?

Finding the ‘middle path of assertiveness’ is essential for success.

Passivity leads to undervalued work, difficult clients, lower rates, and less respect.

Aggressiveness jeopardizes relationships, scares away prospects, and creates a toxic work environment.

But if you can find the right balance, assertiveness commands respect, accomplishes goals, and turns you into a trusted leader.

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