Do you fail to understand when does assertive become aggressive at times? Well, being assertive is a productive and healthy method of forwarding opinions and ideas. In contrast, aggression relates to unsupportive conversations and anger, which leads to discomfort and arguments in personal as well as professional relationships. And, one can easily get puzzled between the two.
This article will help you understand the difference clearly and ensure better communication going forward. Besides, this is important to consider your behavior as well as maintain understanding and courtesy in many cases, like handling a team or attempting to obtain that desired promotion. If you put forward your ideas and thoughts confidently and calmly, it helps you gain respect from other team members. On the other hand, dismissive, bullying, and angry behavior do the opposite.
A manager usually has to deal with many unreasonable and difficult conditions without being aggressive. Aggressiveness at the workplace can result in poor staff retention and take a hit on team productivity. Next time, think before you utter any words about how the tone will affect your team. Now, let’s dive down on how to be assertive but not controlling and of course, without being aggressive.
- Avoid Arguments
When you are stuck in an awkward situation, don’t jump into anger immediately. Instead, take some time, calm yourself, and carefully think about the words that you are willing to say. To make it possible, detach yourself from the heat of moment conditions to make things clear in your mind. Then, you can list out the things you want to discuss with them when you get an opportunity the next time. If there’s no such choice, you have to pay attention to your language.
- Consider Others’ Opinions
Even if you do not agree with the other person’s opinion, it is essential to display an understanding of where the other person belongs. Rather than a straight rejection, you should express an understanding of the point the other person has raised and how he/she reached a conclusion. This should follow a suggestion of what needs to be done. Hence, you will show consideration for the other person’s opinion, bringing both of you on the same table while rejecting could cause the opposite outcome.
- Ask Questions
Considering this point helps choose assertive vs. aggressive communication. Creating statements entirely based on what you feel isn’t sufficient for a resolution. You need to ask questions that will help you better understand the issue and work together to resolve the concerned matter. You can ask for the things that you desire to know/have calmly while using a conversational, clear, straightforward, and friendly language to avoid upcoming passive anger.
- Keep an Eye on the Body Language
While understanding aggression vs. assertiveness, emotional intelligence can make a difference. Ensure that you are carefully watching the body language of the person around you like facial expressions, eye contact, and movement of other body parts. When you understand how other people react to you, you can respond in a way that reinforces positive behavior or diffuses the negative one. A simple act like more smiling or asking if everything’s okay works well in many cases.
- Keep a Tap on Your Emotions
Can a passive-aggressive person love someone? That could come up if you are often angry, which prevents you from communicating with another person properly. There are certain emotional signs that you can watch out for. For instance, the heart pumps more anger bursts than blood, tightly clenched fists, the body feels like a time-bomb ticking and ready to blow, and tight fume and distaste in eyes are some of the signals. While these prevent you from having effective communication, ask yourself “Am I too aggressive?” to ensure you are not going hyper or overreacting.
- Understand that You Can’t Change People
If you go aggressive-only to change the other person’s mind, it will end in vain. No one will ever succeed in such an attempt. Everyone has his/her feelings and thoughts. It is his/her choice to change or not after what you have said or how you have reacted to them. When you realize that you cannot change anyone except you, it goes a long way in changing your aggression to assertiveness.
- Learn How Valuable Clear Communications are
Avoid making cutting, irony remarks, and try to control behavioral anger. If you have been engaged in many fights or arguments in your past, it does not show that you are a great communicator. Rather, you are way too far. Besides, it also shows that you are not intelligent enough to use sarcasm as a communication form. Here, understanding the value of clear communication becomes vital. You need to focus on what the other person is saying rather than trying to decode a hidden message/thought every time.
- Everyone’s Feelings and Thoughts are Important (Yours or Others)
Imagine you argue with a team member on some topics. And then, he/she has explained every point with a reason he/she believes to be true, and you also did the same stating your opinions. This fight could look like a boxing match with you two in the ring using your words as punches. But, if you realize that you both are doing the same thing, that’s, saying something you have a firm belief in, things could go on pretty smooth. Thus, learning to respect others’ feelings and opinions, even if you believe the opposite, is the key.
- Strictly Watch Your Emotions and Self-awareness
Self-awareness works instantly, removing the sources of any potential hindrance to successful communication. Have you ever noticed how a person behaves in open aggression? He/she shouts more without ever stopping for breath to escalate the issue. And later, when you let the person know he/she made the situation go from bad to worse, the person would still argue on being right. That’s passive aggression, a bad way of communicating things, and it goes against the idea of self-awareness.
- Put up Healthy and Fair Arguments
There can be times when you do not agree with a person, and that doesn’t impact your friendship. There are ways of conversing with people without shouting or escalating disagreements to fights. That’s how healthy and clear communications work. In assertive communication, you need to avoid using words like always, never, and all. Also, avoid discussions around arguments of the past helps positively. For instance, saying, ‘You are late today’ is much better than ‘You are always late.
- Set Clear Expectations
It’s important to describe goals if you are destined to complete a task. However, sometimes, you need faster plans and communications under pressure. In these situations, you need to put up questions as well as set expectations and needs without being angry. Always keep a neutral tone, as others might feel uncomfortable if you raise your voice, reducing their willingness to help.
Thus, if you want to live an assertive life, you need to make small changes. You may not see the outcome immediately. But, with every action that you take and the positive language you use, you will begin experiencing major changes that will help grow your confidence as well. Here’s another tip. Avoid communicating when you are dismissive, aggressive, and/or possessive. Though disagreement could make the other person your enemy for a short while, considering the above points can help you communicate assertively and create positive outcomes.