Aggressive vs. Assertive

By Jaxson

  • Assertive

    Assertiveness is the quality of being self-assured and confident without being aggressive. In the field of psychology and psychotherapy, it is a learnable skill and mode of communication. Dorland’s Medical Dictionary defines assertiveness as:

    a form of behavior characterized by a confident declaration or affirmation of a statement without need of proof; this affirms the person’s rights or point of view without either aggressively threatening the rights of another (assuming a position of dominance) or submissively permitting another to ignore or deny one’s rights or point of view.

    During the second half of the 20th century, assertiveness was increasingly singled out as a behavioral skill taught by many personal development experts, behavior therapists, and cognitive behavioral therapists. Assertiveness is often linked to self-esteem. The term and concept was popularized to the general public by books such as Your Perfect Right: A Guide to Assertive Behavior (1970) by Robert E. Alberti and Michael L. Emmons and When I Say No, I Feel Guilty: How To Cope Using the Skills of Systematic Assertiveness Therapy (1975) by Manuel J. Smith.

  • Aggressive (adjective)

    Characterized by aggression; unjustly attacking; prone to behave in a way that involves attacking or arguing.

    “an aggressive policy, war, person, nation”

  • Aggressive (adjective)

    Of heuristics, source code optimization techniques, etc.: exploiting every opportunity to be applied.

  • Aggressive (adjective)

    That spreads quickly or extensively; virulent; malignant.

  • Assertive (adjective)

    boldly self-assured; confident without being aggressive

  • Aggressive (adjective)

    ready or likely to attack or confront; characterized by or resulting from aggression

    “he’s very uncooperative and aggressive”

  • Aggressive (adjective)

    behaving or done in a determined and forceful way

    “we needed more growth to pursue our aggressive acquisition strategy”

  • Assertive (adjective)

    having or showing a confident and forceful personality

    “the job may call for assertive behaviour”

Oxford Dictionary

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