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Are you a Bully or a Leader


Aggressive VS Assertive

No one wants to be a “doormat.” There are times when you want to express yourself but you feel intimidated or you do not know exactly how. When you feel backed up against the wall you can either withdraw or bark back.

How do you express yourself in a clear, concise manner? Before I tell you the answer to that question I would like to explain aggressive behavior and assertive behavior. They are actually worlds apart.

Aggressive Behavior

When you are aggressive you will stand up for yourself, but it will be in a way that stomps on other people. You will say what you believe as if it is the only truth and that anyone or any thing that contradicts is WRONG.

When you are aggressive your body language can be threatening. Your body language will scare or intimidate people. Your body language says, “Keep away from me. I will not listen to you. I will yell at you. I will disrespect you.”

Aggressive thinking:

I am superior

I know everything

Everyone else is wrong.

You must believe what I say

Aggressive behavior:

I get what I want

I take what I want

You must agree with me

Aggressive people may have friends. Their friends either fear them or are intimated by them. They may also have friends that get a thrill from watching the aggressor in action.

Aggressive people want to control you. 

You have all known someone that is aggressive. They scare you. They give you a “bad feeling.” They are bullies.  You may have even acted aggressively at times. It just happened. Perhaps you were extremely angry at being misunderstood and the only way you felt you could be heard was to act this way. You might have felt guilty or ashamed after you did this. Or you might have felt relieved that you finally said what you had to say. Perhaps you even blamed the other person for making you act like this.

When you are aggressive you use statements that start with “you.”

You are stupid.”

You made me angry.”


When you are around aggressive people you are on edge. You never know what they will say to do. You never know when they will explode. You center how you will behave based on their moods. They become the focus of your attention.

This is not the way to interact with people. Aggressive people are not confident. They are bullies and most likely insecure and devoid of confidence.

So what does it mean to be assertive?

Assertive Behavior

You will stand up for yourself and express what is true for you. You will do this in a manner that is clear and does not eliminate the possibility that other people may not feel as you do. You are able to respect the rights and ideas of others. When you are assertive you can say what you have to say and listen to what the other person has to say. You can say what you want. You can stand up for yourself. You can speak what you believe. You can ask for what you want. You cans say no if you want. You can disagree with what the other person is saying. You can give and receive praise. You can give and receive criticism in a positive way.  Assertive people are leaders.

Assertive people have body langauge that is non threatening.  Assertive people want to interact with you.  Assertive people elude an air of confidence.  You know they are not doormats but you also know they are open to what you have to say. 

When you are assertive you use statements that start with “I”.

I would like to go to the movies.”
“I would rather not do that.”

People like to be around assertive people. When you are with an assertive person you know where you stand. You do not have to guess. They are straight forward and truthful. They say what they mean and mean what they say. You know they will respect what you have to say. You know they will listen to what you have to say.  In your personal dealings as well as your business dealings being assertive is the most effective way to act. 

Assertive people are confident. Assertive people think clearly. If you would like to learn how to be assertive check out this product. It will show you how to change your thinking.

My best advice is CHOOSE WISELY. Choose wisely what you say. Choose wisely whom you associate with. Choose wisely who you want to be in life.

Marcia, Your Confidence Coach



March 8, 2007 Posted by | assertiveness, confidence | 3 Comments