Shihan Brian Cyr – The Academy of Martial Arts – Founder
(the quality of being self assured)
Assertiveness is the ability to think for ourselves, ask for what we need, and to stand up for ourselves. Many definitions of assertiveness include the term aggressive; however, it is important to understand hat there is a difference.
Aggressive has the following synonyms: disturbing, destructive, offensive, and intrusive.
Assertive has synonyms like: assured, firm, certain, and insistent.
At times we all must be demanding and even forceful, but the line between assertive and aggressive behaviour is realized in the intention of this attitude. A behaviour that is intended to be intimidating, punishing, or vengeful in nature is aggressive. If your intent lies in the best interest of the other person’s development or in personal protection then it can be said to be assertive.
In the traditional Dojo an assertive approach to self-defense is taught. The objective of personal protection is not to beat someone up (aggressive), but rather to accept that you have a right to stop someone from hurting you. Therefore, it is the emotion that is behind the action that differentiates aggressive and assertive behaviour. It is the ability to stand firm without the need to be mean with an attitude of justice that makes it assertive.
“The basic difference between being assertive and being aggressive is how our words and behaviour affect the rights and well being of others.”
Sharon Anthony Bower