An assertive character, which may be mistaken for aggressiveness, is not exactly the same attribute of an aggressive person. Although assertiveness is similar to being aggressive, the later denotes more of a stronger trait than the first one. When you are being assertive, you show characteristics of self-assurance, self-confidence, and firmness. On the other hand, when you are being aggressive, you demonstrate qualities of being insistent, sometimes even to the point of being hostile.
Assertiveness is manifested in situations that would require the individual to push for something with a sense of urgency in order to achieve something. When people see you as an assertive person, you are oozing with confidence and you demonstrate strong conviction or firmness in what you want, but in a manner that does not inconvenience or threaten others. Aggressiveness is usually demonstrated during heated situations such as when the person is feeling aggravated by the circumstance. The person tends to become forceful in a belligerent way just to gain an advantage.
Let us learn under what circumstances should you become assertive? When is it appropriate to show an assertive attitude? and when is it not?
Negotiation and Persuasion
In business, salespeople need to have an aggressive behavior. However, too much aggressiveness may scare their customers away instead of getting those much-needed sales. A better way to deal with clients is to have an assertive behavior rather than being forceful. In most cases, customers are turned off with sales people who are too insistent and pushy.
In order to make your sales, you must know how to negotiate. When delivering your sales pitch, you must incorporate emphasis on the highlights of your product or service. When you emphasize, you need to sound assertive enough through a firm and confident voice tone, but not to the point of sounding too demanding or even authoritative.
Emphasizing Your Point
When engaging in an exchange of ideas and opinions such as a debate, being assertive helps you win your point over the other party. The goal is not to create arguments but to fully support your reasoning backed by a confident and convincing tone of voice. This means raising the voice volume to manifest proper stress. Yet, it does not connote rudeness, only being assertive.
People tend to misunderstand assertiveness for rudeness especially when there is a change in the voice volume and pitch. Applying proper assertive attitude can elicit respect from others. If you wish to emphasize your point, be assertive by communicating what you wish to relay in an honest manner coupled with proper expression of your feelings and opinions. Do not simply let other people take advantage of you just because you lack assertiveness when emphasizing a point.
Taking Control of an Important Situation
In circumstances wherein you are tasked to facilitate or be in control of a situation, being assertive is necessary especially when the individuals you are dealing with have a tendency of manipulating or taking over the situation. There are just people who have dominating or dictatorial personalities who may act as the office bullies since they are too insecure to let other people take certain level of control over them.
A reasonable level of assertiveness is just what is needed when dealing with people as such. If you apply an aggressive behavior, you may not expect them to respect you in any way. You treat people harshly and they will less likely to cooperate with you or do things in your favor.
There are certain people who are hesitant to show assertiveness for fear of being disliked and displeased by others. Yet, they fail to realize that they can possibly be taken advantage of, if they are easily manipulated and controlled.
Pushing for your rights, what you think and what you feel require assertiveness in order to convince people. But know when to be assertive. In the same way, know how to distinguish from being assertive to being aggressive. Always remember that asserting is an honest expression of your opinions, wants, and feelings. It is not scaring people off or injecting fear in them just to get what you want. Most of the time, you attain something easily with proper assertion.