Difference Between Aggression and Assertiveness

Aggression vs Assertiveness

 

Aggression and Assertiveness are two words that are often confused when it comes to their meanings and usage, even though there are differences between these two terms. First before moving on to a comparison of the terms to highlight the difference it is vital to understand their meaning. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Aggression can be defined as violent and hostile behavior. Assertiveness, on the other hand, can be defined as confidence and forcefulness. This article attempts to give a basic understanding of the two terms with the usage of examples and also highlight the difference in meaning and usage.

What is Aggression?

First let us pay attention to the term Aggression. This term can be used in a number of contexts. It can be used to highlight violence and even hostility. In our society also people use aggression to get things done. Some people are more aggressive in their behavior in comparison to others. Overall this is viewed more as a negative trait rather than a positive one. Now let us try to go beyond the general understanding to instances where this word can be used in the English language. The word ‘aggression’ is used in the sense of ‘power to endure the pressure’ as in the sentences,

1. He showed a lot of aggression in his batting.
2. Her behavior was characterized by aggression.

In both the sentences, you can find that the word ‘aggression’ is used in the sense of ‘power’ and hence, the first sentence can be rewritten as ‘he showed a lot of power to endure pressure in his batting’, and the meaning of the second sentence would be ‘her behavior was characterized by power to endure pressure’. The word ‘aggression’ is used in the sense of ‘anger’ too. It is interesting to note that the word ‘aggression’ has its adjectival form in the word ‘aggressive’.

Difference Between Aggression and Assertiveness- Aggression

What is Assertiveness?

Now let us look at the term Assertiveness. The word ‘assertiveness’ is used in the sense of ‘self-confidence’ or ‘assurance’ as in the sentences:

1. He showed assertiveness in his approach.
2. Assertiveness is the quality of confident people.

In both the sentences, you can find that the word ‘assertiveness’ is used in the sense of ‘self-confidence’ and hence, the meaning of the first sentence would be ‘he showed self-confidence in his approach’, and the meaning of the second sentence would be ‘assurance is the quality of confident people’. The word ‘assertiveness’ is used as a noun like the word ‘aggression’. It has its adjectival form in the word ‘assertive’. It is important to know that the word ‘assertiveness’ is derived from the noun form, ‘assertion’ meaning ‘statement’. The person possessed with the quality of assertiveness does not give up anything so easily. These are the differences between the two words, namely, aggression and assertiveness.

Difference Between Aggression and Assertiveness- Assertiveness

What is the Difference Between Aggression and Assertiveness?

• The term Aggression is used to highlight forcefulness and even violence.
• The term Assertiveness, on the other hand, highlights self-confidence and force.
• Aggression is viewed as a negative trait in individuals.
• Assertiveness is not considered as a negative trait but can be viewed as a positive one.

Image Courtesy:

1.”Legend Fighting Championship 3″ by Legend Fighting Championship – Own work. [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons 

2. Student Discussion Panel By Schwartz219 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons