People generally find themselves functioning in one of these ways. When conflict arises people are most naturally either aggressive or passive. Being assertive is a skill that needs to be learning and practiced. Here are the difference in the three with assertiveness being the ideal.

Aggressive behavior is treating another person as if your thoughts, feelings, emotions are more important than theirs.

Passive behavior is treating someone as if their thoughts, feelings, and emotions are less important than others.

Assertive behavior is treating the other person that displays both people’s thoughts, feelings, and emotions at an equal level of importance.


Justin P. Lewis, MA, LMFT