Conflict #12 – Assertive or Aggressive?

One of my clients is a lovely lady, thoughtful and smart, and well past retirement age. Even in this season of her life, she is willing to improve herself. She says that one of her problems is, “I don’t speak up.” As a young child, she was taught to be quiet, never complain, and do what she was told. So, she grew up believing that speaking up was rude and aggressive, and it made people feel bad.

In another one of my posts called “Stand Up For Yourself” I talk about assertiveness. Now, we can take this a little further. After many years in this field, I’ve noticed that lots of people who have trouble speaking up confuse assertiveness with aggression. They conclude that, if they speak up, they will make things worse, or they will hurt someone, or – kind of like the saying, “Don’t shoot the bear, you’ll just make him mad.” – speaking up will come back to bite them.

Every situation is unique. Sometimes speaking up is the right thing, and sometimes it’s not. But here’s the thing: do you have the wisdom to know the difference?

If not, and you’d like to explore this interesting little life problem, I’d be more than honored to be part of that conversation. Please reach out for a free consultation, at 219-309-3928.

Thanks for reading!