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My junior year of college, I spent about 5 weeks living and teaching in Rwanda. In the days leading up to my trip, I felt increasingly nervous. Quickly, however, these worries subsided. I came to love the rolling hills, the dirt ro, and the beautiful, unfamiliar faces within days.
Until I met a hostile man on a walk home. My students always insisted on walking my colleagues and I home at the end of the school day. On this particular afternoon, we kicked rocks, sang songs, and hopped over puddles. But as we approached my driveway, the kids suddenly grew quiet.
Within seconds, a man grabbed my colleague Kim and attempted to kiss her. The man conceded, letting Kim out of his grasp. He giggled and carried on his way. Assertive and aggressive behavior are two totally different approaches to confrontation. Alex demonstrated assertive behavior, as he confidently confronted the man who grabbed Kim, but in a nonthreatening manner. He could have, instead, acted aggressively by threatening the man either physically or verbally—but odds are, the outcome would have been much different. While it can be difficult to differentiate the two, there are distinguishing factors including their subsequent outcomes.
However, as you can see above, acting with assertiveness is better for all involved. So, when you find yourself in a situation that may involve confrontation, steer yourself away from aggression. What do I want to get out of this confrontation? How can I achieve that? Your answers to these questions will likely guide you in the direction of acting assertively—rather than aggressively—and reaping the best possible benefits from the situation. She devotes herself to distributing important information about mental health and wellbeing, writing mental health news and self-improvement tips daily.
It makes me view other younger workers as less than me. I know you have spent your blood and sweat to get where you are today, and this should be an indicator of the wisdom you have achieved. Sometimes, even though we know our value and that is a good thing, we do not know how to communicate it to others in an efficient way.
When we learn how to communicate that value we have identified in us, then positive things start happening. This is what being assertive if about. Instead of being overtaken by negative feelings, we should focus on how to solve the problem at hand in a rational and human way, and soon the negative feelings will fade away. Nothing lasts forever after all. I wholeheartedly agree with you, Akis.
I was in my 50s when I began college for my degree. I envisioned feeling separated from my peers by the experiences in life that I had had, and ultimately had hoped to survive this difference. What I found was some of the most thrilling conversations, full of intelligence and wisdom. It was because of these younger people that I knew college was right for me. I never again based intelligence on life experience again. Save my name, , and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Being assertive vs. Tagged with: aggressive assertive communication confrontation.
Assertive behavior and aggression are different approaches to handling confrontation, which have distinguishing factors and lead to very different outcomes. First, assertive behavior is typically a positive form of expression, while aggression is a negative form of expression. Additionally, assertive behavior is rooted in respect, while aggression is not; for example, voicing your opinion through aggressive acts communicates that your feelings are more important.
Aggression also often makes matters worse, while assertive behavior is more productive. Finally, assertive behavior is all about standing up for yourself and your values in an unthreatening manner, while aggression puts others down. Assertiveness sits right in the middle of passivity undervaluing yourself and aggression ignoring the value of others and is the best way to approach a confrontation or negotiation.
Aggression, on the other hand, is perceived poorly due to the disregard for others. Assertive behavior is rooted in respect, aggression is not. As we just mentioned, assertive behavior respects everyone involved. Aggressively telling your boyfriend what you want puts your feelings before his and communicates negativity. Assertive behavior is productive, while aggression is ineffective and often makes matters worse. The man may have retaliated with his own aggression and the situation could have become a much graver one.
Assertive behavior is all about standing up for yourself, but aggression usually involves threatening, attacking, or to a lesser degree ignoring others. Assertive individuals stand up for themselves—for their beliefs, their values, their needs. And they do so in a respectful, unthreatening, nonviolent way. Explore the latest mental wellness tips and discussions, delivered straight to your inbox. Address. Deidre Russell on September 11, at am. Akis on December 15, at am.
I hope you are happy in your life. Take care. Beth Todd on August 9, at pm. Find A Counselor. Popular This Week. Women and alcohol: Why we drink and how we can empower our sober curiosity. Do you feel drained by negative news headlines? Learn to cope with news fatigue and cut back on doomscrolling. Download Now.
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