How to Be More Aggressive | Build Assertive Character
How to Have an Aggressive Personality
You may be motivated to develop an aggressive personality if you are being bullied or picked on. You may also try to be more aggressive and strong willed around others if you are constantly being told you are a pushover. You can develop an aggressive personality by learning how to display a stubborn, strong-willed nature and by acting more bold and assertive. Keep in mind there is a difference between being aggressive and being assertive — and that being assertive is a more productive and respectful way of communicating. Assertive people are clear about their needs and opinions, but are respectful of the fact that other people have different ideas and opinions, while aggressive people can be bullying and ignore or belittle those with different views. Consider being more assertive, rather than aggressive, which will earn you the respect and admiration of others.
Acting Powerful and Assertive
Use “I” statements.Being assertive and powerful around others can help you gain self-confidence and self-esteem. It can also allow you to gain more acknowledgement and respect from others, in the workplace, at school, or at home. One way you can act powerful and assertive is to always use “I” statements when you speak to others.
- You should always try to use “I” statements during a discussion or argument, such as “I think you are wrong” or “I disagree with what you are saying.” This will be more effective and assertive than using “you” or “they,” such as “You are wrong,” or, “They don’t know what they’re talking about.”
- You should also use “I” statements when you are stating your opinion or your thoughts. For example, you may say, “I think it’s important to be honest with each other,” or, “I believe the client should come first.”
Display assertive body language.You can also demonstrate your assertiveness in a positive way by using body language that is assertive and confident. Make sure you always stand straight and upright. You should also make regular eye contact and maintain a positive facial expression, such as a welcoming smile.
- You should also avoid wringing your hands, pulling on your clothing nervously, or picking at your face. Nervous ticks often as a sign of a lack of confidence.
- It may help to practice assertive body language in front of a mirror at home so you can get comfortable presenting yourself in this way. If you are around someone who seems to demonstrate assertive body language, you may study her and try to mimic her gestures.
Stay in control of your emotions.A person who is confident and assertive will maintain firm control over his emotions and not let his anger show. Rather than scream, shout, or yell when you get upset or frustrated, try to take a deep breath and remain calm. Keep your voice even and firm when you speak to others to show you are in control of your emotions.
- If you feel your emotions are getting out of hand during a discussion at school or an argument at work, you may try excusing yourself and taking a timeout on your own. Letting your emotions settle and calming down alone can help you think about the issue and process it. Then, you can return to the discussion with a clear head and firm control of your emotions.
Developing a Strong-Willed Nature
Don’t take “no” for an answer.You can demonstrate a stubborn, strong-willed nature by being persistent and not taking “no” for an answer. Try to figure out a way to get what you want and satisfy the needs of others. Finding a way to get a “yes” means you are able to channel your aggression into productive results.
- For example, perhaps you are trying to apply for insurance coverage for a family member who is ill. Insurance companies can be difficult to deal with and may end up turning your application down. Rather than accept their “no”, you may call them persistently or calmly refuse to leave their office until the matter is resolved or you speak to an authority figure who can help you. Do not yell, berate, or bully — instead, remain calm and be very clear about what you want, avoiding abusive language. It's ok to stand your ground, but do not get inflamed over it.
State your opinions directly.Having an assertive personality also means that you are not shy about your opinions or thoughts. You should be willing to openly state your feelings to others and not try to hide them. Being honest and upfront will show others that you are strong-willed.
- For example, you may have a co-worker who asks your opinion on how to best serve a picky client. Rather than brush off his question, you should state your opinion and tell the co-worker how you would address the issue. Offer to work with your co-worker to make the client happy, using your assertive personality for something productive and helpful.
Stand your ground in an argument or a discussion.You should also stand up for what you believe in and demonstrate your strong will during an argument or a discussion. You should be willing to stick to your stance. This will show others that you are determined and willing to act assertively.
- For example, maybe you get in a heated debate about abortion rights with a friend. Rather than back down on your stance, you may decide to stand your ground and defend your position. Though you and your friend may agree to disagree in the end, at least you will have stood your ground and made it clear how you feel about the issue.
Finding Healthier Ways to Express Yourself
Do not bully others.There is a clear difference between being aggressive in a negative and being assertive. Often, people who are aggressive end up being bullies. Being a bully means you act self-righteous or superior and have no regard for the needs, feelings, and opinions of others. Bullying others will only lead to conflict and negativity in your life, not respect.
- You should try to keep your aggression in check so it does not turn into bullying. Though you may feel a momentary sense of power as a bully, it will ultimately only lead to resentment and anger from others. This resentment could then cause people to avoid you or oppose you.
Use positive communication.You can also channel aggression into developing healthy habits like positive communication, becoming assertive instead. Positive communication means you practice active listening and always consider the thoughts and opinions of others. You should also try to take your ego out of any discussion or conversation and focus instead on how you can support those around you.
- Practicing active listening means not interrupting others when they are speaking and maintaining eye contact with the speaker. Once the speaker is done, you should repeat back what she said in your own words to show you were listening and paying attention. Then, you can respond to the speaker in a positive and open way.
Display empathy for others.Displaying empathy for others means putting your ego aside and focusing on how others are feeling or what they are experiencing. Doing this will show that you can be assertive and strong willed without walking on the needs of others. Showing empathy for others is often a sign of confidence and maturity.
- For example, you may have an employee who is struggling with an illness in the family. You may then show empathy for the employee by approving his request for time off and checking in with the employee on a consistent basis to make sure he has everything he needs. Showing the employee compassion and empathy will show that you can be a considerate boss.
Mediate conflicts.Another way you can channel aggression into something productive and healthy is to focus on mediating conflict. Conflict resolution can be useful at home and in the workplace. You should strive to mediate a conflict rather than try to dominate it so it can be resolved effectively.
- Make sure you are addressing the problem or issue at hand, not the person involved in the problem. Focusing on how you can problem solve the issue will avoid making anyone feel bad or placing the blame on someone.
- You should also work with others to try to mediate an issue so you are not dominating the conversation or being too aggressive towards others. Collaborating and listening to others will ensure the resolution is effective and satisfying for everyone involved.
- For example, maybe there is a conflict between two of your co-workers. Rather than punish both co-workers or blame them, you may sit down with them and have a mediation session. You may act confident and assertive but also listen and empathize with both employees to reach a resolution.
QuestionHow do I become a calm and confident person?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou must first believe that you can become a calm and confident person. And then you begin to act as such. Stand up straight, hold your head high, look everyone in the eye and speak with purpose. Keep a calm, relaxed face. Once you master this, your air will change, people will see you as calm and confident, and eventually you'll fully feel it yourself.Thanks!
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