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What are you? Assertive or Aggressive?

There is a fine line between the two and there can be confusion. Here are the definitions:


Someone who displays hostile or violent behaviour. Aggressive people adopt the stance of “it’s my way or the highway” or “I say it like it is” or “I shoot from the hip”.


Someone who is assertive behaves confidently and is not afraid to say what they want or believe.

As you start out in the workplace, you may be taken advantage of and regarded as a pushover BUT…

You CAN acquire the skills of assertiveness, even though it might take some time.

You can master this skill and it will serve you well in the workplace.

Assertive behaviour… is based on balance. Being honest about what you need and require, but still considering the rights, needs and wants of others.

It is finding the happy space between the two extremes of assertiveness and aggressiveness.

Aggressive behaviour… is based on winning. It’s all about you and what’s in your best interest, disregarding other people’s rights, needs and feelings. This is the power of  “selfishness”.

Aggressive people are pushy and even regarded as bullies, taking what they want without asking.

The benefits of being assertive:

Being assertive will certainly assist you in becoming more confident as you realise your value and as you gain a better understanding of who you are.

Assertiveness will help you both in the workplace and in other aspects of your life.

  • Assertive people make great managers. They treat their staff with fairness and respect.

Great managers are able to get the “buy-in” and get things done.

  • They are good negotiators as they see the other side’s position and their value.

And are able to find a “win-win” solution.

  • They are problem-solvers and make things happen because they feel empowered.

No problem is too big for them to solve and they will always find the best solution.

  • Because they are self-assured and don’t feel threatened and taken advantage of, they are less stressed and less anxious when things don’t go according to plan.


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