Are you a bully?

Aggressive people can be surprised if anyone suggests that they should learn to be more assertive. Because, unlike passive people, they may actually be getting what they want. Getting what you want by being a bully may work in the short term, but longer term it leads to anger, fear and resentment in others.

We can all think of examples of people who use direct aggression as a way of communication. A bulldozing, “get out of my way”, style that is intolerant of others opinions – or just doesn’t listen – that leads the recipient to feel put-down, a loser (unless they respond aggressively themselves!).

Verbal aggression as a communication style ultimately shows no respect or attempt at empathy for the other person. Arrogant, over-bearing, opinionated – basically acting in a way that meets their needs only by ignoring (or violating) another persons.

As I’ve said before, how we behave is generally something we learn from others as we grow up. If you learn to be aggressive it can give the appearance of confidence, which may wel be real. But it can also mask insecurities and a lack of self belief, that you avoid facing by erecting a vocal barrier.

I will look at indirect aggression in the next post, before looking at ways of becoming assertive. Its important to remember we’re looking at communication behaviors, not emotions. You can still get angry, whatever style you use – including assertiveness!

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