Many people desire to be more self-confident, self-assured and developing an healthy self-image. An inner sense of being too prone to pleasing and too easy to manipulate or being walked over lead to frustration, anger and sometimes inner outburst of fury. But when it comes to stand your ground and guard your boundaries arises a conflict that becomes a block:
How can I be assertive without being aggressive?
There is an intrinsic believe that aggressiveness is per definition bad and therefore to be avoided and this influences the difficulty in answering the question.
Having grown up to be a pleaser has allowed us to gain many appreciation, to keep the peace and to ensure harmony for so long and with so much success. How can we possibly ensure that we can preserve peace, harmony and pleasantness while being assertive?
We may have to take a leap and let go of the idea that peace and harmony can be provided only by us being a pleaser but even more importantly, that it is our responsibility to ensure harmony and pleasantness even when it costs us so much frustration.
From inside this conundrum assertiveness may look a lot like aggressiveness even if it is not. Assertively is about standing tall, treating yourself and your well-being as important and worth fighting for. Aggressiveness is about attacking, offending, challenging someone or something, often without a specific goal other than some egoic satisfaction.
Making little steps towards assertiveness may be the best way to move towards it without discomfort and testing at every step how the environment react to us being more self-confident.