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Aggressive vs. Assertive Behavior

Written by: Amanda Levison, M.S., LMHC, LPC, CCBT

Say what you mean, and mean what you say but don't be mean when you say it; is a mantra many people live by, or at least a genuine statement of ethics that many teach.

Today people feel that to get anything done or to get their point heard they have to be assertive, or are they being aggressive? What is the difference between being assertive and being aggressive?

People who are assertive want his or her opinion heard, but say it in a respectful way and tend to be very confident in the way they speak. Aggressive people want his or her opinion heard regardless if he or she offends their audience and does not think of the consequences of the responses from others.

There are many benefits of being assertive:

  1. You will be a happier person. You will be happy that you will get your point across in a confident, respectable manner.

  2. You will feel accomplished. You will feel that you have gotten a lot out of life.

  3. You will be a risk taker. You are hoping that although your assertiveness can cause a conflict, you will be able to connect with your audience in the most positive manner.

Remember, anything can be said, it always makes a difference how you say it.

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