Passive vs Assertive vs Aggressive

We’re all familiar with what “passive” and “aggressive” mean—the two extremes—where one is a person who feels “Less Than” and doesn’t speak from their healthy center about their needs, feelings, and desires, and the other is someone acting from a place of “Better Than” who sometimes steamrolls over the needs, feelings and desires of others in order to get what they want. One is associated with meekness, one with hostility.

So let’s drop the word “Assertive” in between those two things. “Passive” on one extreme, “Aggressive” on the other, “Assertive” in the middle.

But here’s the problem: If someone is passive and moves a little bit towards the other direction, it feels aggressive.
And likewise, if someone is assertive and backs down a little bit, it feels like passiveness.

The passive person may think they’re becoming too harsh, cold, and mean by becoming more assertive, and the aggressive person may fear that they’re becoming a doormat by moving towards assertive.

But the goal, “Assertive”, is speaking from your center of healthy, balanced self esteem and equality.

“I am not Better Than, I am not Less Than, I’m in my Center of Equality and stand equal to all; eye to eye and toe to toe.”

And in our Center of Equality, that’s where we speak from Assertiveness. We know we can speak our minds, we can have a difference of opinion from others, and we can make decisions that are best for us from this center.

We’re not losing our personal autonomy, but we’re not steamrolling over others, either.

So start thinking of Assertiveness as a good thing, balanced right in the center of the two extremes, Passive and Aggressive.

And if you need help with getting there, reach out to me!

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