EQ and Assertion -As Opposed to Aggression or Passivity

Have you ever thought about the relationship between Emotional Intelligence and Healthy Assertion? Those of us who try to live our lives as our best selves and make the best behavioral choices we can, have likely examined our ability to be assertive in healthy ways as opposed to being either aggressive or too passive.

Certainly there are unusual times when being passive or aggressive (but not both together!) is the best and most appropriate thing to do. If someone is about to step in front of a car, yes, be aggressive to save that person! If a violent person is holding a gun to your head and being passive will save your life, that is a good choice!

However, in daily situations, we are presented with opportunities to choose the right words and tone many times a day. How can we do this with so much emotion bubbling under the surface?

One thing to remember is that most of us were not taught healthy assertion as kids, and so it’s a learned skill. And, just like any other skill, it takes time and practice to learn it, gain experience with it, and master it.

So, be patient with yourself. It is normal to be slightly more aggressive or even passive when you are aiming for a certain amount of assertiveness. It’s sometimes hard to find that balanced place of assertiveness that isn’t either aggression or passivity. Keep trying. It’s all any of us an do.

Again, the best gift we can give ourselves is the self-awareness of knowing what feelings we are experiencing. When we know what these are, we can handle them. When we don’t know what those are, we are powerless.


About Denise A Romano

Denise A Romano is the author of The HR Toolkit: An Indispensable Resource for Being a Credible Activist, published by McGraw Hill in 2010. She is a workplace expert and has a strong interest in government, business, workplace, and personal ethics. She can be found on LinkedIn. View all posts by Denise A Romano

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