Am I Aggressive Or Assertive When Acting Among Others And Does It really Matter?

Have you ever asked yourself:
    ⁃    Am I aggressive or assertive when dealing with people? And,
    ⁃    Does it really matter?
As soon as you answer the first question, you can pretty well figure out the answer to the second question.

If you are aggressive, your focus is mostly on the other person and how you treat them - you want to crush them. Whereas, if you are assertive, your focus is primarily on yourself and whether you are standing up for yourself and your beliefs.

There are huge ramifications depending on which kind of person you are. Let's dive into the differences with some definitions.

Am I Aggressive Or Assertive When Engaging Others? - Definitions Explain The Differences -

To truly understand the differences between the two, it is important to begin with definitions.

    •    Aggressive means, “Hostile or violent behavior or attitudes toward another; readiness to attack or confront.”

    •    Assertive means, “Having or showing a confident and forceful personality.”

As you can see from the Aggressive definition, it is behavior inflicted on another individual. Whereas, Assertive is behavior based on the person's personality doing the acting.

Consequences Of Being Aggressive

In general, how are your relationships going. If you have a very assertive personality, you may get what you want, but it will be at a cost.

No one likes to be bullied.

Of course there are times when it is appropriate and necessary to be aggressive. In sports, athletes are expected to be aggressive against their opponents. In business, a company is aggressive trying to grow market share.

I can’t imagine a professional football player who is not aggressive. Of course, the opponent expects aggression. It is part of the game.

Then, there is the case of self-defense. If someone is attacking you, it is necessary for you to be aggressive in return. And, as aggressive as you possibly can be. This is one of the times when answering the question, am I aggressive or assertive, it is preferable to say, I am aggressive.

Consequences Of Being Assertive

In general, do you usually stand up for yourself and what you want, or do you accept what life gives you (or what other people give you)?

Life only gives you opportunities and difficulties. It is up to you as to how you handle yourself when going for what you want, IF you actually are willing to go for what you want.

In life, you are responsible for standing up for yourself. It’s your life, no one else is going to do it. Well, that is, once you become an adult.

Part of the maturing process is learning to take initiative when going after your goals and dreams. Nothing is going to be handed to you on a silver platter. You have to decide what you want, how you will get it, and if life hands you obstacles, getting up after being knocked down. Being assertive is an important part of life.


So, how do you answer the question, “Am I aggressive or assertive when dealing with people?” In most cases, being assertive is good and being aggressive is bad.

There are exceptions, but you have to determine your situation on your own. It is important not to be confused. With the definitions above, you should be able to figure out your answers about your behaviors.

Are you focusing on other people and how you treat them, or are you focusing on yourself and the kind of person you want to be? And if you don't like your actions, you can change your mindset. That, in turn, will change your actions over time.

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