There are many occasions when you may need to put your view before others for any of your deed, misdeed or just no-deed. I mean you may come up with a requirement of explaining why you did something or why you did not do something. The explanation you give can be Assertive, or Aggressive or may start Assertive but culminate into Aggressive. There is a difference between Assertiveness and Aggression Assertiveness and Aggression are the two neighbours who live on the same street.


While Assertiveness is a positive factor in anyone’s personality, Aggressiveness can attract negative notions about you. You have right to assert yourself and put your stand before others. Assertiveness is the limit of rights that you have borne with. But, sometimes when you fail to convey your views or when others do not agree with what you want to convince them, you cross your lines and transform into aggressive one. This of your styles of explanation or expression may hurt others and is not your right to do.


Difference between Assertiveness and Aggression can also be understood by reviewing the sentences one may speak out in two situations. When you say that “I want to win and I will do everything I can within my rights” you are limiting your actions to yourself and not treading over others’ rights then you are assertive. Likewise when you say that “I want to win and I will not let anyone come in my way” you sound aggressive. The difference between two instincts can also be identified as being polite and impolite. When Assertiveness respects the limit of politeness, Aggression crosses these limits and become impolite. The Aggression can even lead to violent behaviour in extreme situations.


Businesses managers and leaders are taught to be aggressive as a part of effective management styles. As they need to implement policies and control different types of workers at work and want to extract maximum return on their investment. Their behaviour is going to decide the behaviour of other employees as well. Here employees are often seen assertive because they know that they have to work in the organization and Aggression is not their right while managers or owners may take liberty to practice Aggression as part of their right.


It has also been observed that people often get Aggressive with the others, whom they have some right authority or power on. For example husband on wife, father on son, brother on sister, teacher or student, owner on servant, dog on cat, and so on. These combinations are not the perfect but are common with exceptions.  It doesn’t mean that Assertiveness is the sign of timid or cowards and Aggression is an emblem of powerful. But these relations give us common situations where Assertiveness and Aggression live together and can be judged from the expressions.


Difference between Assertiveness and Aggression can be visualized if we look at the things upside down. For example ‘non-assertiveness’ is something which is not considered a good trait. This is rather considered as feeble and week expression. This is treated as you are not capable to stand against odds and protect your rights. When you start protecting your rights and speak out to put your point forth you become assertive. Likewise when you get too much excited to express your point or prove yourself and do not care if it is hurting others or violating policies or code of conduct, you get Aggressive.


Most of the time Assertiveness and Aggression are seen as traits individual’s personality. There are persons who often indulge in authoritative practices and they indulge in Aggression every now and then. Likewise there are some people who mind their behaviour and stay content no matter whatever they have got to say. They express their views or explain their point within the limit of social conducts and do care about others feelings. Whereas an Aggressive person doesn’t care about others’ feelings and lets his views in rather harsh way out.

We can outline some common differences in Assertive and Aggressive persons as under:

Assertive: Friendly, Confident, Sympathetic, compassionate                         

Aggressive: Arrogant, over confident, unsympathetic, self centred


Assertive person is one who wants to protect his/her rights by protesting wrong and has consideration for others rights. Aggressive person wants to suppress others views or voice by raising his/her own voice and wants to see his/her point through, without consideration to others’ problems or issues.

Difference between Assertiveness and Aggression can be judged with the two statements.

Aggressive: I want to see this work done. I don’t care if you have to stay up late night.

Assertive: I really need this work done today. You may have to stay up a little late tonight.


Picture- jdlasica

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