Do you have to be aggressive to be assertive?

Do you have to be aggressive to be assertive? Being the highly sensitive person that I am, I know it can be challenging to assert your needs and wants to others. Do you feel that you need to take an aggressive approach to accomplish this?

The good news is that you don’t have to be an aggressive maniac to get what you want. Assertive communication is making your point of view clear in a concise and direct fashion. It’s doing so with a strong and firm voice without being aggressive and confrontational. Assertiveness leaves no doubt what you are saying and why you are saying it.

Aggressive communication has a harsh tone that is sometimes personal, creating unnecessary conflict. Aggressive communicators are often poor listeners who take a “my way or the highway” approach. They are often accusatory in their tone and language and leave the receiver on the defensive. Aggressive communicators are too often focused on blame, criticism, and humiliation of others.

Assertive communicators try to achieve a certain result or solve a particular problem in a diplomatic way. Aren’t highly sensitive people natural diplomats?

Based on the two types of communication styles, which one do you feel will most likely help you communicate your needs and be in alignment with your highly sensitive nature?

Here are examples of asserting your needs without appearing aggressive. You can begin with…”I feel strongly that we need to move in this direction because if we do, we can accomplish_____.” Other examples include…. I don’t want to do this because I’m tired and I need my rest, perhaps we can do something later…. I don’t appreciate what you said to me, this hurt me because______. I value our friendship and would never hurt you.

Remember that a firm but positive tone and non-confrontational body language are crucial to getting your point across.

I understand that this isn’t any easy thing for anyone to do. Have patience with yourself. This takes time. Your effort will be well rewarded by gaining self-respect from others but more importantly feeling better about yourself and getting what you want and need.

Do you have to be aggressive to be assertive? I’m interested in any thoughts or comments that you have.

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