Episode 28

Assertive vs. Aggressive

In today’s S*%! People Say episode; we’re talking about a word I’ve been called plenty of times in my career—aggressive. Over the years, I’ve decided to accept and own the label to make it mine (instead of letting people define it for me). 

I have been called this soooo many times and find it SUPER interesting, especially as a woman. Listen in as I share a quick look at what the labels aggressive and assertive actually mean, how to overcome them, and what to do if you're battling this same issue.

If you’ve been labeled aggressive or otherwise, please know that you are absolutely not alone. We can’t control people’s perceptions of us, but through good communication, we can try to get on the same page and use these opportunities to examine ourselves.

Episode Highlights:

00:59 I believe that women are often looked at as “aggressive” for doing things that the world doesn’t bat an eye at unless it’s women taking that action.

01:35 To me, the difference between these two words (aggressive and assertive) is often in the perceiver’s eye. 

01:50 Women actually have a very long history of being labeled aggressive in the workplace. I believe that is because assertive behavior is expected from men, and it is often a shock when it comes from women.

05:00 The label aggressive is a heavy one to carry and it kind of dimmed my light a little bit. It made me less bold. I tried to fit in. I took fewer risks. 

06:04 There is some merit in every piece of feedback. Every criticism often has some layer of truth, even though we don’t want to admit it.

07:07 One of the keys of life—is figuring out how to tailor your communication to each person in your life (to speak in a way that they can hear you). 


Jackie Hermes





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