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Comparing Behaviors

 

Techniques Assertiveness > Comparing Behaviors

 

Here is a summary of key differences between assertive behavior, aggressive behavior and submissive behavior. Note how the benefits and costs of aggressive and submissive behavior are sometimes the same and sometimes opposite.

One the traps of aggressive/submissive behavior is to believe that this is all there is, and you have to be one or the other. Assertive behavior is not aggressive and not submissive nor any way in between. It takes a new position in a separate place outside the one-dimensional aggressive-submissive spectrum.

 

Attribute Aggressive Submissive Assertive
Respect for others Low High High
Respect for self High (usually) Low High
Key actions Attack others

Me first

Hide weaknesses

Exaggerate strengths

Do not concede

Submit to others

Me last

Visible weaknesses

Downplay strengths

Always concede

Respect others

Me and you equal

Open about weaknesses and strengths

Fair exchange

Perceived benefits Get what I want

Won't get harmed

Will be respected

Won't get harmed

Low personal risk

Will be liked

Get much of what I want

Will be respected

Fair relationships

Likely costs Poor relationships

Subtle revenge

Lost communication

Do not get what I want

Low social status

People take advantage

Do not get everything I want

Confusion/envy of others

 

See also

Aggressive behavior, Submissive behavior

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