As of late, I have begun to realize that many people do not fully understand how to define the way they execute their power. Quite frankly, it’s hard for some of us to find a middle ground and instead opt to exist in one of the extremes: Passive or Aggressive.
This is a real shame as, in doing this, we pass up a tremendous opportunity to be assertive without putting people off with aggression (which tends to help people win the battle, but lose the war) or placating them with a passivity that ultimately leaves us feeling a sense of self-betrayal.
Today, I would like to share four ways to find this balance. I truly believe that by taking some time to really think about the way we communicate with those around us can really benefit our relationships and our business.
Know The Difference Between Assertion and Aggression: Over the years I’ve learned that aggression gets you nowhere. Not only does it put people off, it burns bridges and errodes credibility. No one enjoys being treated poorly or making decisions under duress. I respect those who demand respect through gentle-yet-firm boundaries rather than ruling by fear. Assertion allows for this and opens lines of communication, and many times, the right doors.
Do Not Be Afraid To Assert Yourself: Many women in particular feel that being assertive will make them seem “unfriendly”. In reality, if you apply assertion with warmth and clarity, it breeds respect, admiration and love. It’s important to note that assertiveness should never come from a place of arrogance but be the result of a positive thought that will ultimately enhance your life and that of others.
Know How To Respond To an Aggressive Person: Aggressive people can be intimidating if you allow them to have that kind of affect on you. There are ways to defuse aggression. First, always look the aggressor in the eyes and communicate in a direct, eloquent, and calm manner. When you do this, most of the times the aggressor has to find a middle ground because you are not meeting their energy and feeding into his or her negative vibes. Second, pay attention to your body language. Sit or stand tall and own your space. Show the aggressor that you are confident in your place in the environment. Lastly, be comfortable placing a boundary. A simple, “Let’s take a break and revisit this in a few minutes when we have had time to think about it” can work wonders.
Finally, Understand That People Are Watching: My motto: Always treat people as if the whole world was watching, regardless of where you are…
Please share your thoughts on the topic. How do you deal with aggressive people? Do you find it hard to assert yourself? I would love to hear your thoughts.
With a Happy Heart,
Kathy Romero is the Vice President and Global Wedding & Event Planner for Preston Bailey Designs. She shares her thoughts and advice on Preston’s Blog every Thursday.