The majority of women I worked with (and a lot of women that I meet and have a conversation with on this topic) think that assertiveness and aggression are the same thing (or similar). But they definitely are NOT.
People often confuse the behaviour of an aggressive person with that of an assertive person, thinking that in order to be assertive you must be aggressive. That couldn’t be further from the truth! The truth is that in order to become a women who is confident you MUST master the skill of assertiveness. Our words and our behaviour affect others –their feelings, their rights and their overall well being of other people and our ability to build respectful relationships.
Aggressive people are hurt people looking to hurt other people.
Here are the facts about assertiveness and aggressiveness:
- Respect for yourself and others
- Addressing problems or things that bother you
- Being firm so that your rights are respected
- Expressing positive emotions
- Expressing negative emotions
- Sharing feelings, opinions, and experiences with others
- Making requests
- Asking for help
- Starting, changing, or ending conversations
- Refusing others’ requests if they are too demanding
- Questioning rules or traditions that don’t make sense or don’t seem fair
- Being arrogant
- Being rude
- Being overbearing
- Being outspoken
- Having unrealistic expectations of others
- Intentionally hurting others’ feelings
Assertiveness is all about these 3 things:
- Saying what you mean.
- Meaning what you say.
- Don’t be mean when you say it