Assertiveness Training suggests that there are essentially three different ways that people can relate to one another. They can be: 1) aggressive, 2) passive or 3) assertive. Aggression is about dominance. Passivity is about submission and being invaded; it is fundamentally disrespectful of one's own personal boundaries. Putting one's own needs aside. Assertiveness is about finding a middle way between aggression and passivity that best respects the personal boundaries of all relationship partners. Assertive people defend themselves when someone else attempts to dominate them, using any necessary method (including force) to repel the invasion attempt. Though they can be strong people who are capable of aggressive domination attempts, they never act in an aggressive manner, however, because they know that to do so would cause them to disrespect their relationship partner's boundaries. Another way to say this is that assertive people use aggression defensively, and never offensively. You don't have to "fight fire with fire" (i.e. aggression with aggression)
Document Tags
assertive; assertiveness; training
Document Department
Counseling & Psych Services